Typhoon Haiyan Death Toll in Philippines Reduced By Gov’t? Local Reporters Witness Alleged Cover-up
By Reissa Su | November 18, 2013 1:32 PM EST
Despite the official death count released by the Philippines' National Disaster and Relief Coordinating Council, local reporters in Samar and Leyte have allegedly caught government officials deliberately hiding the real number of deaths caused by Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda.
According to the local journalists as reported in the Philippine Star, they saw the figure 5,016 on the bulletin board tally based on the number of corpses recovered. However, the number was changed to 3,422 and was announced the official tally as of Nov. 16.
It was worth noting that before Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, President Benigno Aquino III said the government's target was "zero casualty" in the aftermath of the storm. It was clear after Haiyan's devastation that the government target was no longer possible.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Alan Purisima removed Police Regional Office Chief Supt. Elmer Soria when the latter had said 10,000 were feared dead in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. President Aquino had earlier estimated the deaths to be not greater than 2,500.
The Philippine president has received criticisms from both the local and international community including CNN's renowned international correspondent Anderson Cooper who revealed through his show, Anderson 360, that relief efforts were not moving as quickly as they should be.
The alleged 5,016 death toll was the official count of the Office of Civil Defence (OCD) Region 8. The local reporters who were there said the figure should have been the official count to be sent to the NDRRMC in Camp Aguinaldo.
When the local reporters wanted an explanation for the new and reduced figures, one of the officials from OCD Region 8 said they were reprimanded by Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas for revealing the true number of deaths. Mr Roxas allegedly wanted the number reduced at 3,422 at that time.
As of Nov. 17, NDRRMC reported 3,976 dead, 18,175 injured and 1,590 missing.
UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos said the victims of the Category 5 storm in Samar and Leyte provinces have fought for limited relief goods. Some have died waiting for help to arrive. Ms Amos said "the situation is dismal" as people become increasingly vulnerable to disease, dehydration and starvation six days after Typhoon Haiyat wreaked havoc. She said in a press briefing in Manila that the fast delivery of aid is the UN's immediate priority.
The arrival of more foreign aid has helped speed up the ongoing relief operations in typhoon-hit areas like Tacloban and other towns in Samar and Leyte.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Caught Flirting In A Countryside Dinner Date [PHOTOS]
- Kate Middleton’s Mom Accused Of Being A Social Climber, Prince George Not Seen By Relatives
- Prince William & Kate Middleton Boards London Train in Casual Disguise, Royal Couple’s Incognito Plan A Huge Hit [PHOTOS]
- Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt’s Top Secret Wedding Tramps Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Friends’ Reunion & Pregnancy Talks [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Russia Massacres Ukrainian Volunteer Battalions—Surviving Members Alleged
- ISIS Will Target the U.S. Power Grid, Former CIA Says; Could Tap Other Fellow Extremist Groups to Do the Job
- Teachers’ Strike in BC, Canada Stalls 1st Day of School; Labour Dispute Could Last Even After Labour Day
- Australia Races Against Potential Genocide In Iraq
- 5.5-Inch iPhone 6 is iPhone Air on Sept 19 Release Date: 5 Things to Consider Before Buying
- Pricey iPhone 6 on Release Date Likely but with 3X Retina Resolution & Mobile Payment Service – Reports
- Nexus 6 Release Date Update: Moto X+1 Look Leaked, Nexus X or Shamu Moved to Demo Phase
- Google Nexus 8 Confirmed as HTC T1 aka Volantis/Flounder with Freshly-Leaked Specs & Features – Reports
- iPhone 6 On Release Date To Feature Qualcomm MDM9625M LTE, 1GB RAM, Mobile Payment Deal With AMEX, 1334x750 Display
- Leaker of Actresses Nude Photos Accepting PayPal Donations in Exchange For Posting Alleged Sex Video of Jennifer Lawrence, Has Naked Pictures of 100 Hollywood A-Listers