Newspaper Review: Philippines typhoon devastation


The papers report on the trail of devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines on Friday.

Eyewitnesses talk of shanty houses being flung inland like matchsticks, seawater reaching the second floor of a hotel, bodies being found stacked in churches, snagged on trees branches or underneath rubble.

"It's like the end of the world", one survivor tells The Times. .


The papers also highlight the growing lawlessness.

The chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, Richard Gordon, tells the Daily Telegraph how one of its convoys was attacked by people he describes as "mobsters". .

Others talk of desperate survivors walking like zombies looking for food.

Photographs help capture the devastation caused by the typhoon.

One image on the front of the Independent shows a whole community levelled - with wreckage stretching back nearly as far as the eye can see.

The picture was taken close to the harbour of Tacloban City where very few buildings were left standing.

In an editorial, the Guardian says the disaster should put climate change back on the political agenda. .

It says that although the typhoon may not have been caused by global warming, what is not in doubt is that countries such as the Philippines stand to be the worst affected by climate change.

Sir John Major

The Daily Telegraph leads on some outspoken comments by Sir John Major.

It says the former prime minister regards the dominance of a private school educated elite and affluent middle class in the higher echelons of British public life as "truly shocking".

During a speech to Tory grass-root activists in South Norfolk, Sir John, who went to a South London comprehensive, apparently blamed Labour for the collapse in social mobility - even though the Telegraph believes the comments will be keenly felt by David Cameron, who was educated at Eton.

Sir John is also reported to have called for interest rates to be raised and for an end to personal attacks on UKIP - saying that many of their supporters are patriotic Britons who fear their country is changing.

Writing in The Sun, the current prime minister insists that he and his party understand the importance of "aspiration" - and this is demonstrated through the government's right to buy scheme.

Anger over calls

There is anger about the use of premium phone lines by government organisations, with the bereaved, people who have been laid off and victims of crime among those being charged.

The Daily Mail says the calls cost a total of £56m during the last financial year and almost half that total was generated while people were on hold.

The Sun highlights the case of an 83-year-old widow, Beryl Hassall, who has been struggling to get pension advice since her husband died, but could not believe that calls to the bereavement service could cost 41p a minute.

A Cabinet Office spokesman told the paper that it was inappropriate for vulnerable people to pay high charges and that a more consistent approach was needed.

"Investors threaten to pull plug on energy giants" is the front page headline in the I.

The story is also the lead for its sister paper, The Independent, which explains that fund managers are considering pulling billions of pounds out of British energy companies because of what they regard as political interference in the market.

One fund manager tells the paper that utilities cannot be regarded as charities.

Another warns of under-investment and a potential energy crisis if firms are not allowed to make a profit.

NHS issues

The Times leads with figures suggesting that half of all senior doctor posts are going unfilled at accident and emergency departments.

The finding comes from the College of Emergency Medicine which warns that A&E departments have reached a tipping point.

In response, the Department of Health says there are 4,000 more clinical staff working in the NHS than in 2010, but it admits that more needs to be done to tackle the historical shortage of medical staff in A&E.

The Financial Times says David Cameron is personally overseeing contingency planning to prevent a winter crisis in the health service and that private hospital groups have been put on standby to provide thousands of beds.

Footballer's unwise route

The papers also report the case of the England Under-21 footballer Andre Wisdom who put too much trust in his Sat Nav while driving to a match on Saturday.

According to the Daily Express, Wisdom - who is on loan at Derby County from Liverpool - ended up taking his £100,000 Porsche on an unconventional route through some woods before he finally marooned it in a muddy pit. Wisdom only managed to make the game by abandoning his car.

Witnesses told the Daily Mirror the route was miles away from any main road and that the Porsche was only recovered in the evening when it was towed away by a jeep.

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