Residents struggled to find food and water in the central Philippines after typhoon Haiyan destroyed houses, closed down shops and damaged major roads, killing an estimated 10,000 people and making rescue efforts difficult, officials said on Monday (November 11).

Super typhoon Haiyan is estimated to have destroyed about 70 to 80 percent of structures in its path in the central Philippines as it tore into the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday (November 8).

Most of the damage and deaths were caused by huge waves that inundated towns and swept away coastal villages in scenes that officials likened to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

The situation deteriorated on the third day, with looting rampant in the central city as residents scavenged for food inside abandoned food warehouses, shops and malls, officials said.

The United Nations said some survivors had no food, water or medicine, and that local officials had reported a mass grave of 300-500 bodies in the devastated city of Tacloban. Relief operations were hampered because roads, airports and bridges had been destroyed or were covered in wreckage, it said.

The Philippine Army has deployed additional soldiers to reinforce order and help in the delivery of the relief goods, following President Benigno Aquino's order to prioritise the welfare of the 4 million affected people in the central Philippines.

Haiyan was the second Category 5 typhoon to hit the Philippines this year after Typhoon Usagi in September. An average of 20 typhoons strike every year, and Haiyan was the 24th so far this year.

Presented by Adam Justice

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