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Dispatch From One Of The Philippines' Hardest-Hit Areas In



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

Typhoon Haiyan swept to the Philippines with nearly 200 mile per hour winds. Thousands are now feared dead. Save the Children's Lynette Lim was in one of the hardest-hit areas, Tacloban City, this morning. She joins us now from the capital, Manila. Thanks so much for being with us.

LYNETTE LIM: Not problem.

MARTIN: So describe what you saw. How were conditions in Tacloban City when you left this morning?

LIM: The situation there is actually dire. There is no food, no water. No shelters, as well. There is no medical supplies. We went to a hospital this morning and there was a sign outside that said no admission, no medical supplies. And that's the state that the city is in right now. There's no stores open because everything has been looted yesterday. And also, there is no clean water supplies at all. There is widespread open defecation because there is no latrines available for people. There is no chem management, and as a result there is no waste management. And no one to take - to count the number of people in evacuation centers and to account for their needs.

MARTIN: Oh, my. So, what are the relief efforts right now? Where do you even begin?

LIM: Well, the infrastructure really needs to be restored. Without power and clean (unintelligible), there is really hardly anything anyone can do because we all need power and oil to work. There's no gasoline in the city as well. So there's no way for vehicles to move.

Relief goods are coming in via C-130s and the government, and I've seen them landing throughout Saturday, as well as early this morning. And relief goods are coming in, it's just a matter of distributing them fast enough for the families and children that really need it the most.

MARTIN: It's such an overwhelming crisis. What is your organization focusing on right now?

LIM: Well, Save the Children is now on the ground working with government units to ensure that children's needs are accounted for in any response because we know children are the most vulnerable in any disaster. The government themselves are still starting from scratch because any preparedness plans that were done by the city and provincial government are now thrown out the window because all of them have been affected, as well.

So, really right now we're trying to mobilize the relief supplies that we already have to get them to the affected areas to provide them to families and children who are worse affected.

MARTIN: Lynette Lim of the aid group Save the Children. She joined us a line from Manila. Thank you so much for talking with us.

LIM: No problem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.