Emergency in Tacloban
Survivors reach out to receive medicine from a passing vehicle along a devastated downtown after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city - (Reuters) Reuters

A state of emergency has been declared in Tacloban, the capital of the central Philippine province of Leyte, following widespread looting by desperate survivors affected by Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda.

The federal government in the Philippines has imposed a curfew between 10:00 and 18:00 local time.

President Beningo Aquino had earlier said that his government was considering declaring a state of emergency or martial law in Tacloban. This will allow the national government to control food prices and take over powers from the local government to deal with relief efforts.

The declaration of emergency follows reports of widespread looting in the devastated areas.

Some survivors are reportedly roaming the streets with guns to attack convoys carrying aid. Hundreds of troops and police personnel have been deployed in Tacloban to quell the looting.

"Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families. People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food, rice and milk.... I am afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger," school teacher Andrew Pomeda told AFP.

The government is considering the imposition of a state of emergency in other storm-ravaged areas, as authorities continue to struggle to reach the affected regions due to piled-up bodies, debris from destroyed houses and uprooted treets.

The super-typhoon is estimated to have killed at least 10,000 people and displaced nearly 600,000. As many as four million people are thought to have been affected by the storm.

The sheer scale of destruction is gradually emerging three days after the typhoon made landfall. Corpses were found floating in floodwaters, hung from trees and lying scattered on sidewalks.

Haiyan, one of the world's most powerful storms, has also flattened hundreds of residential buildings, schools and an airport.

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