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Anger boils over.

Mactan, Cebu:

Anger, frustration and exasperation best described the overall sentiments of people who streamed at the Daniel Romualdez Airport in Tacloban City Thursday hoping to see their relatives or at least get news on the situation of the their relatives in Leyte and Samar.

Several dozens of passengers of flight 5J 426, including this Gulf News correspondent, was aboard a Cebu Pacific aircraft from Mactan Airport to Tacloban City Thursday afternoon when the pilot was forced to go into a holding pattern and ultimately abort landing---the reason---airport congestion.

The Mactan Cebu International Airport had been extremely busy over the past few days in the aftermath of the devastation brought to the Visayas by super typhoon Haiyan.

Haiyan, known in the Philippines as "Yolanda" struck the Visayas on Friday until early Saturday leaving massive destruction and countless deaths.

Airports in Central Visayas, particularly Tacloban City had only been open to commercial flights on Wednesday and people are eager to get news concerning their relatives and see them.

Some, like Rowee Balajadia, 45, lost their loved ones from the calamity. In his case, his 82-year-old mother who lives in San Simon town in Leyte.

"She had a heart attack during the typhoon," he said. Until now, I have yet to see her remains and my apprehension is building up," Balajadia, who came all the way from Laguna, South of Metro Manila.

Balajadia, who had taken a big amount of luggage with him and his wife, had asked me to check-in some of his baggage as he had already exceeded the weight limit. I readily obliged as I was only carrying a backpack.

"I took whatever I can bring to my siblings since I heard that everything was in short supply in Tacloban City," he said.

In the same row in the aeroplane with me was Jenina Yerro, who was travelling with her daughter Janice and brother in law Provo Severino.

Although the Yerros did not lose any relatives from the calamity, Jenina was eager to see the situation at their house in Imelda Village in Tacloban City.

"My mother in law, is a village chief and she told me that the place where we live is already dangerous as there are people stealing out of hunger. Most residents there have had nothing to eat since the calamity struck," she tells me.

Five days after the typhoon struck, the situation had changed very little. People have still nothing to eat, there still is no electricity and potable water.

Peace and order remains a serious concern as angry and hungry hordes are harassing other residents.

At the Benito Ebuen Air Force Base in Mactan, Gulf News at least six C-130 military cargo aircraft from various countries parked in the facility and were flying in and out of Tacloban City and airports in Samar that of recently had its operations restored.

But while the presence of these aircraft, in addition to supply runs by the Philippine Navy, are welcome news, this doe not change the fact that people are going hungry and desperate and some of them may not last long enough.

Reports said that a main concern is not the amount of aid coming, but whether they arrive soon enough for the battered region to survive a humanitarian catastrophe.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Nov 15, 2013
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