After a deadly typhoon Haiyan left at least 10,000 dead, an almost complete breakdown of law and order has struck Tacloban city, Philippines.
Three days after Haiyan roared across a huge swathe of the central Philippines, there is still no word from tens of thousands of people living on the islands that bore the full brunt of the typhoon's fury.
Very little assistance had reached the city, residents reported. Some took food, water and consumer goods from abandoned shops, malls and homes.
Aid convoys are being raided and shops stripped of everything remaining on their shelves by starving survivors, reports local media.
Starved survivors attack aid convoys, raid shops
"Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families," said Andrew Pomeda, a teacher, in Tacloban. As locals take to the streets with guns, there is speculation that President Benigno Aquino may have to declare martial law.
A Philippine Red Cross convoy has already been attacked, the perpetrators described as "mobsters" by the organization's chairman, Richard Gordon, reported The Telegraph.
"People are dirty, hungry and thirsty," said Emma Bermejo, a pastry shop owner. "A few more days, and they will start to kill each other." One local described Tacloban's shocked, homeless residents as if they were no longer human. "People are walking the streets like zombies looking for food," said Jenny Chu, a student.
Government ensures that rehabilitation will be done ver soon. Authorities had deployed 300 soldiers and police to the city and promised that more were on their way. "A column of armoured vehicles will be arriving in Tacloban to show the government's resolve and stop this looting," officials said.
The United Nations said it was sending supplies but access to the worst hit areas was a challenge.
"Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications," said UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi, reported ABC news.
(With agency inputs)