After typhoon, Philippine school is now a camp for the displaced

In hard-hit Tacloban, at least 1,000 of the homeless are living in one single school. CBS News

(CBS News) TACLOBAN, Philippines - It's now been eight days since that monster typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines. More than 3,600 have been confirmed dead with nearly 1,200 others still missing. Then there's the half a million people who are homeless. In hard-hit Tacloban, at least a thousand of the homeless are living in one single school.

Alejandro Devaras was the facilities manager at a high school until the typhoon. Now he's running it as a camp for the displaced.

One classroom now houses four families. Laundry hangs near the chalkboard. Science tables have been turned into beds.

Four years ago, Marvin Galvez was a student in this very room. Describing how it is living there, he said: "It's very had because we're sleeping in this floor, it's cold -- especially in the morning. The smell of dead people."

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Galvez waited in line for an hour to get this rice from a World Programme distribution site set up just out front.

"What they need is food and water," said Devaras.

He and a couple of teachers seemed more like aid workers as they handed out bags of rice and high-energy biscuits. The school is now a temporary home to more than 1,000 people and at least one pig.

Silke Buhr with the U.N.'s World Food Programme said these evacuation centers are key places to target aid.

"The idea is to keep pushing new aid out, and once the system is more stable, that then we move to the standard rations which are on a monthly basis," she said.

This typhoon has turned Tacloban upside down. Since so many here lost lives, homes, or fled town -- those who are left struggle to fill in the gaps.

We are starting to see more and more evidence of aid really making it to these neighborhoods, though in many cases it's just enough to last a person for a day or so. That means people will have to spend all day -- day-after day -- just getting the basics. And now we're just learning that some parts of this country are barely beginning to see the first international aid come to them.

  • Seth Doane

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