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The Tragic Aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan

For survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, the daunting challenge of finding food, medicine and missing loved ones has begun. 

Philippines President Benigno Aquino declared a state of "national calamity" earlier today to speed up recovery efforts. The United Nations says more than 600,000 people have been displaced.

Haiyan, which hit land Friday, was one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded. It destroyed 70 to 80 percent of the land in its path according to Reuters, and killed an estimated 10,000 people (a count that's expected to rise). The city of Tacloban has been almost entirely reduced to ruin.

Thousands across the Philippines are reported missing. In some towns, no death tolls have been reported only because rescuers have yet to arrive and communications systems remain down. Officials say looting is widespread and difficult to stop. And the state weather bureau anticipates heavy rains to pass through central and southern parts of the country on Tuesday, further hampering relief efforts.

Below, scenes from around the Philippines as it tries to recover: 


An aerial view of a coastal town, devastated by super Typhoon Haiyan, in Samar province in central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro) 


Police push a trolley containing relief supplies at Tacloban military base for the victims of super Typhoon Haiyan in Samar province in central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro)


Residents rush to a military helicopter to get food packs during a relief distribution after super typhoon Haiyan hit Iloilo province, central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Leo Solinap)


Residents pick up pieces of wood in between two cargo ships washed ashore four days after super typhoon Haiyan hit Anibong town, Tacloban city, central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)


An aerial view of the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan as it battered a town in Samar province in central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro) 


Residents take sacks of medical items from the pharmacy after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco) 


Members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) stand guard in front of a store to prevent people from taking items after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco) 


Survivors stay in their damaged house after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines November 10, 2013. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco)


A man dries rice bran in front of his house damaged by super Typhoon Haiyan in Hernani, Samar, in central Philippines November 11, 2013. (REUTERS/Erik De Castro)

Mark Byrnes is an associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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