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Tacloban City placed under state of calamity

The devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), are seen Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, in Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms on record, slammed into six central Philippine islands on Friday, leaving a wide swath of destruction and scores of people dead. AP/Toti Navales

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 2) -  Tacloban City was placed under a state of calamity on Monday amid incidents of looting following the devastation wrought by super typhoon "Yolanda" (Haiyan) in Leyte and several provinces in Visayas.

A state of calamity, provided for in Republic Act 10121, is a "condition involving mass casualty and/or major damages to property, disruption of means of livelihoods, roads and normal way of life of people in the affected areas as a result of the occurrence of natural or human-induced hazard."

President Aquino told reporters on Sunday night that a legal team of the government was already studying the possibility of declaring a state of emergency in Tacloban City.

Aquino was also urged to declare a martial law in typhoon-devastated areas as victims despoiled commercial establishments for their basic necessities.

There have also been reports of looting and trucks loaded with relief goods being attacked by unidentified men in other parts of Eastern Visayas that were also severely devastated by "Yolanda," the strongest recorded in history to make a landfall.

Observers described the situation in Tacloban and other areas hit by the super typhoon as "anarchic" amid scenes of destroyed homes, businesses and blocked streets akin to the apocalypse.

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Aquino said a provision in the law creating the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) allows the national government to take over if the local government is unable to function during calamities.

Troops from the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines have been deployed to parts of eastern and central Visayas to assist in restoring peace and order and in relief operations.

"So meron na tayong itinalagang mga 300 kapulisan at kasundaluhan na handang pumalit at ibalik ang kaayusan dito. Mamayang gabi, may darating na mga armored vehicle at saka ang ating Sandatahang Lakas para magpakita nga ng lakas ng estado at matigil iyong mga pasimuno nitong looting na ito." Aquino said Sunday.

More policemen and soldiers were deployed to Tacloban City and other areas on Monday.

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