Typhoon Haiyan: A choice to either ‘distribute food or collect bodies’

Seven days after the powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines, aid was still slow to trickle in to desperate survivors due to a paralyzed infrastructure and widespread looting.

In the worst-hit city, Tacloban, Mayor Alfred Romualdez said authorities lacked the necessary manpower and vehicles to both deliver supplies and to clear bodies off the streets.

In the chaos, rubble and ruin of the Philippines, a mother gave birth to a baby girl  in the doorway of the church in the devastated city of Tacloban. The girl was named Yolanda, the Filipino name for the typhoon which hit just hours before she was born.

“It’s scary,” Romualdez told Reuters. “There is a request from a community to come and collect bodies, they say it’s five or 10. When we get there, it’s 40.”

The mayor said the options are bleak in Tacloban: “The choice is to use the same truck either to distribute food or collect bodies.”

Read story on NBCNews.com>

About fbrinleybruton

F. Brinley Bruton has been a journalist for 15, and worked in Kabul, Mexico City, Philadelphia, and New York City. Now based in London, she is a editor, producer and senior writer at NBCNews.com, a leader in breaking news and original journalism online that gets over a billion page views a month. Before joining MSNBC.com -- which became NBCNews.com in 2012 -- Brinley wrote about security, business and finance, international development and women’s issues. She has worked at Reuters in London and New York, and her pieces have appeared in the New Statesman, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Long Island Newsday, The Star-Ledger, and Arabies Trends, among others. She also wrote and blogged for AlertNet, Reuters’ humanitarian news website.
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