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November 16, 2013 AT 7:44 AM
Some butchered meat has appeared on sidewalk tables in Tacloban in recent days, often close to bloated corpses, but residents of this devastated city in the central Philippines have grown understandably nervous of its provenance. The city slaughterhouse was transformed into a dark, stinking, powerless morgue. The latest figures put the death toll across the Philippines from Haiyan at 3,633, with another 12,487 injured. After the initial days of chaos, when no aid reached the more than 600,000 people rendered homeless, an international aid effort is gathering steam. "We're starting to see the turning of the corner," said John Ging, a top U.N. humanitarian official in New York. "Many friends and neighbors say they will leave too," said Fav Lloren, who has sold lechon here for 18 years, but doubts she will return for several months. In this city of about 250,000 people, no home was spared Haiyan's fury, so families must improvise shelter as best they can. Electric power will not return for at least two months. Osprey planes and giant C-130s produce a deafening roar, Bryce Clark, a staff sergeant in the 1st Special Forces Group, managed the exodus of people leaving on the C-130s as they returned to Manila and Cebu to load more relief supplies and personnel.