New photos of Ormoc City in Leyte, Philippines, shows widespread destruction, and a report says that at least 21 people died during Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The Armed Forces of the Philippines posted aerial images of the damage on Facebook, showing debris and rubbled scattered in streets.
It appears that the roofs of two large buildings were also severely damaged.
A report from Al Jazeera says that residents of Ormoc have had difficulty coming to terms with the outright destruction caused by the storm.
“We did not expect that the devastation would be this overwhelming,” Edward Codilla, the Ormoc City mayor, told Al Jazeera. “I witnessed the 1991 Ormoc flood, which killed almost 8,000 people, and this is definitely worse in terms of damage to properties.”
He said the city hall was severely damaged and a relief agency set up a makeshift office there.
Ormoc disaster response team leader Bienvenido Matiga said that at least 21 people died and 106 were injured.
“It was so sudden,” resident Imelda Amodia told Al Jazeera. “We could not really do anything at that point, except to hide in the bathroom and [say] the rosary [prayers] for hours.”
Gomez said that in the storm, power was cut and communications remains limited.
“The situation there is very bad,” Gomez told Rappler. “The entire city is devastated. Homes are damaged and it doesn’t matter whether they’re sturdy. Entire roads are gone, shanties across coastal areas are totally damaged.”
But in Tacloban, a city of about 220,000 people on Leyte island, bore the full force of the winds and the tsunami-like storm surges. Most of the city is in ruins, a tangled mess of destroyed houses, cars and trees. Malls, garages and shops have all been stripped of food and water by hungry residents.
The United Nations said it had had released $25 million in emergency funds and was launching an emergency appeal for money.
Just after dawn Tuesday, two Philippine Air Force C-130s arrived at its destroyed airport along with several commercial and private flights. More than 3,000 people who camped out at the building surged onto the tarmac past a broken iron fence to get on the aircraft. Just a dozen soldiers and several police held them back.
Mothers raised their babies high above their heads in the rain, in hopes of being prioritized. One woman in her 30s lay on a stretcher, shaking uncontrollably. Only a small number managed to board.
“I was pleading with the soldiers. I was kneeling and begging because I have diabetes,” said Helen Cordial, whose house was destroyed in the storm. “Do they want me to die in this airport? They are stone hearted.”
Most residents spent the night under pouring rain wherever they could — in the ruins of destroyed houses, in the open along roadsides and shredded trees. Some slept under tents brought in by the government or relief groups.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.