Typhoon leaves an estimated 10,000 dead, and survivors begging for help

November 11, 2013

Super typhoon survivors seek aid, Khamenei’s economic power comes from property seizures, and Fukushima residents face the prospect of never going home. Today is Monday, November 11, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

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Survivors’ plight. Victims of typhoon Haiyan, which killed at least 10,000 people and left whole towns isolated from help, struggle to find food, water, and medicine after one of the most powerful storms ever recorded devastated the Philippines this weekend:

Three days after the typhoon made landfall, residents of Tacloban told terrifying accounts of being swept away by a wall of water, revealing a city that had been hopelessly unprepared for a storm of Haiyan’s almost unprecedented power. Most of the damage and deaths were caused by waves that inundated towns, washed ships ashore and swept away villages in scenes reminiscent of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

According to the U.N., more than 600,000 people have been displaced by the storm. Roughly 2,000 people are missing in Basey, a seaside town destroyed by Haiyan. Tacloban, which was hit hard by the storm on Friday, reported a mass grave containing 300-500 bodies, the U.N. said. Three military transport planes are providing supplies to and evacuating survivors from Tacloban. Several countries are sending funds, personnel, and supplies to the Philippines for as aid. Officials expect the death toll to rise once access to remote areas is reestablished. Click here for live coverage of the storm’s aftermathhere for aerial shots of the destruction and here for information on how to help.

A man takes a break from salvaging reusable woods from his damaged house after super Typhoon Haiyan hit Tabogon town in Cebu Province, central Philippines, November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Charlie Saceda.

Residents walk past a cargo ship washed ashore four days after super typhoon Haiyan hit Anibong town, Tacloban city, central Philippines, November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Khamenei’s capital.  Setad, an Iranian company that manages and sells property on order from the Imam, is one of the most powerful firms in Iran – and a key means for Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to maintain power.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei sits next to a portrait of late leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini while taking part in a television live programme in Tehran on the occasion of the Iranian New Year, March 21, 2011. REUTERS/Leader.ir/Handout

The company seized thousands of properties from Iranian citizens, including members of the historically persecuted Baha’ai minority. According to the investigation, Setad’s assets are worth $95 billion – 40 percent more than Iran’s total 2012 oil exports. Click through to read the first of a three-part report on the assets of the Ayatollah.

Long way home. Fukushima evacuees are anxious to go back home, but would settle for acknowledgement from the government that some may never return. Japanese lawmakers on Monday said the government should scale back cleanup goals.

Norio Horiuchi, an evacuee from the town of Tomioka speaks during an interview with Reuters in his unit in a temporary housing estate, where 200 former Tomioka town residents also have been evacuated to, in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture, November 8, 2013.  REUTERS/Sophie Knight

The government may offer compensation to residents whose homes were in the most contaminated regions and will not be able to return. So far, 1,539 displaced Fukushima residents have died due to illness associated with prolonged evacuation. Japan is dealing with fallout from the faulty nuclear plant, which was wrecked by earthquake and tsunami in 2011 and is currently leaking nuclear radiation.

Nota Bene: The chief financier of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network was killed in Islamabad.


Gold no-go – Romania thwarts a massive Canadian gold mining plan. (Associated Press)

Dreamscapes – A photographer captures images of Europe’s forgotten nuclear bunkers and hippodromes. (The Atlantic Cities)

Painful protest – A naked artist is detained after nailing his scrotum to Red Square. (BBC)

Shopping police – Venezuelan soldiers occupy stores accused of price gouging. (New York Times)

Fishy solution – An EU ban on discarding edible fish may not be all that helpful. (The Guardian)

From the File:

  • Exclusive: West scorns Assad ‘shopping list for chemical envoys.’
  • Peace in Congo remains a distant prospect despite rebel defeat.
  • Syria opposition accepts peace talks, says Assad must go.
  • Storm kills about 100 in Somalia’s Puntland region.
  • Kerry sees nuclear deal with Iran as diplomacy warms.
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