200 After Typhoon Slams Philippines

TACLOBAN, Philippines (CNN) After laying waste to huge swaths of the eastern Philippines, flattening houses and washing bodies into the water, Typhoon Haiyan is set to bring more devastation to Vietnam. (Credit: CNN)

National police and the military sent reinforcements Sunday to prevent looting in the hard hit city of Tacloban.

The store break ins were attributable to a severe lack of food. Relief efforts were hampered by heavy damage to the airport and trees and debris blocking roadways.
< af br>In signs of progress, the road to the airport was clear af ed Sunday and helicopters were making regular flights.

The government had counted 151 dead, 23 injured and five missing as of Sunday morning. More than 477,000 people were driven out of their homes.

Experts predicted that it will take days to get the full scope of the damage wrought by a typhoon described as one of the strongest to make landfall in recorded history.

the casualty figure will increase as we get more information from remote areas, which have been cut off from communications, said Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Philippines representative.

The casualties from the storm, which affected 4.3 million people in 36 provinces, occurred despite preparations that included the evacuation of more than 800,000 people, he said.

The National Risk Reduction and Management Council said more than 70,000 families were affected, and nearly 350,000 people were displaced inside and outside evacuation centers. Thousands of houses were destroyed, it said.

Tacloban suffered the greatest devastation, said Lt. Jim Aris Alago, information officer for navy central command. are numbers of undetermined casualties found along the roads. initially found more than 100 af bodies scattered on the streets of the coastal city.

expect the greatest number of casualties there, Alago said, adding that 100 body bags had been sent to the area. People were wading through waist high water, and overturned vehicles, downed utility poles and trees were blocking roads and delaying the aid effort.

Mobile services were down, and officials were relying on radios.

An additional 100 residents in this city of 220,000 were injured, said Capt.

Roofs and windows were blown off of and out of many of the buildings left standing.

But the speed of the storm which was clocked at 41 mph meant residents didn have to hunker down long. Many emerged Saturday from their homes and shelters and trekked through streets littered with debris to supermarkets, looking for water and food. Several bodies were found at a chapel; a woman wept over one.

National police sent 150 officers to Tacloban on Saturday night, and Director Alan Purisima said Sunday he was sending an additional 120 officers to the peace and restore law and order. military also sent a battalion of 500 to patrol the city.

Rescue crews were handing out ready to eat meals, clothing, blankets, medicine and water, Alago said.

Red Cross struggling to reach scene

The Philippine Red Cross succeeded in getting its assessment team in to Tacloban but af had not managed to get its main team of aid workers and equipment to the city, said Philippine National Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon.

really are having access problems, he said.

The city airport was shut to commercial flights, and it would be three days before a land route was open, so organizers were considering chartering a boat for the 1 to 2 day trip, he said.

really is an awful, awful situation. on Leyte island, is the largest city in the Eastern Visayas Islands. It was an important logistical base during World War II and served as a temporary capital of the Philippines.

Some hospitals on Leyte were destroyed, the official Philippines News Agency reported, adding that the Department of Health had sought help from the World Health Organization.