In the early morning of November 8, the strongest typhoon in recorded history entered the Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan (Local name : Yolanda) brought catastrophic damage to the islands of Leyte and Samar. With maximum sustained winds of 315kph and storm surges reaching as high as twenty feet, Haiyan swept ships onto villages, drove trees into houses and blew tin roofs up in the air.
The magnitude of the damage was immense, leaving over 6,000 people dead and more missing. For days, residents had no access to food and water. Dead bodies were still on the streets and looting became rampant. Access to remote areas was difficult due to the amount of debris on the roads and the lack of manpower to clear them. People were in a state of shock, pain and panic as they struggled to make sense of what happened and tried to rebuild their homes alongside the deceased.
Embedded with the UN and on assignment for Rappler, I landed in Tacloban four days after the typhoon hit. These are the images and stories from the immediate aftermath.