Widespread devastation is left behind in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines.
Widespread devastation is left behind in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan on November 10, 2013 in Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. - 
Listen To The Story
Marketplace

Now three days since one of the most powerful storms in history slammed into the Philippines, the death toll continues to rise. Food and water are scarce and some people who lost their homes are trying desperately to get out while others have stayed and are beginning the grueling process of cleaning up and rebuilding.

The BBC's Alastair Leithead traveled to Cebu, one of the hardest hit areas of the islands near Tacloban, where we've seen most of the images of destruction.

"It looks like this area has been very badly hit," says Leithead, who mentions that official damage estimates haven't yet accounted for the entire region.

"There's the orange glow of a few fires outside homes, and a few pieces of blue light you get from the flourescent tubes that people are running off generators," Leithead says after arriving at night at the edge of a destroyed area, "It's very eerie."

Leithead says power is still down for much of the island and large areas that used to be towns are now completetly flattened, but clean up has already started, with people clearing debris into piles on the side of the road. For those who've stayed behind, though, it's just the beginning.

"It's such a huge task, even with all the aid that's coming in," says Leithead, "Just cooordinating it -- finding the people who need it most, getting the help to them -- and we still have no idea at this point as to how many people have died, how many people are injured, how many people still desperately need help from the authorities."

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Lizzie O'Leary at @lizzieohreally