THE howling winds of Typhoon Haiyan and its aftermath have been described by a Worcester man living in the Philippines.

Matt Wilkie, who left St John’s, Worcester, six years ago, was at his home in Minglanilla, Cebu, in the Philippines when the storm hit.

The typhoon struck the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar on Friday and then headed west through six central Philippine islands.

At least 10,000 people are feared to have been killed and hundreds of thousands more have lost their homes and desperately require food, water and shelter.

Mr Wilkie and his family cut down trees and cleared debris in preparation for the typhoon, but were still shocked by its intensity.

“The rains created a haze due to being blown with the wind and the sheer quantity of rainwater that fell,” said Mr Wilkie.

“The trees, with their leaves extended, shook as if only their roots were their only clasp to life. The wind howled through the gaps in the windows and under the doors – sounds we have never heard here before.

“The rain pounded the metal roofs with a rattle that never seemed to end.

“My main priority was keeping not only my own family safe, but the neighbourhood making sure nothing would cause an electrical fire and nothing would collapse a building.”

Mr Wilkie added: “The pounding of the typhoon lasted for around two to three hours with heavy to moderate rain and winds prior to and after the typhoon.

“As it broke I headed out to the local areas to inspect the damage and found that local officials, although lacking in resources, seemed to have a person in every street.

“Our main power lines were down and I came across the Red Cross with a chainsaw cutting a tree out of other power lines.”

Mr Wilkie added: “We have two large water tanks for showering and washing, but most people rely on hand pumps or access to the city water.

"The city water was one of the first casualties, shutting down early, internet was lost as the storm hit, quickly followed by power.”

Although Mr Wilkie’s family are safe, he said many friends had reported terrible conditions.

“The reports are coming back from friends who can only be described as stunned. 

“There are bodies in the street and a helplessness of not knowing where to go or who to get help from to get out of the area.”

Mr Wilkie said there had been complaints that the managing of disaster relief had been left to Philippines officials when others were better placed to help.

“To help the most important thing now is water, followed by food then shelter,” he said.

Mr Wilkie had intended to travel to a badly-hit town, Tacloban, to help look for family friend Norman Rhandy Sevilla, but has since heard that his friend is safe. 

However, he said: “People have now started to come forward asking for help.

“One of our employees here has a relative missing their nine-month-old child that was left with grandparents and are now requesting that they can travel with us to search for them.

“Another friend is seeking his family.

“The list goes on and I will do whatever it takes to help as many people as possible.”