Canadian medics overwhelmed with displaced typhoon survivors

Ten days after Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the Philippines, millions of people remain displaced, many without food or water.

Canada’s disaster response team is on the ground on Panay Island where crews are overwhelmed with requests for help.

Hundreds of people left homeless by the storm lined up to see Canadian doctors and nurses at shelters in Pontevedra Monday.

GALLERY: Canadian aid in the Philippines 

Locals gather to watch Corporal Nathan Miller wield his chainsaw, a valuable but rare tool in the Philippines. Stuart Greer / Global News
Locals wanting pictures taken with Canadian Armed Forces. Credit: Stuart Greer / Global News .
Canadian forces are on the ground in the Philippines helping with relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan.
Canadian forces are on the ground in the Philippines helping with relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan. Stuart Greer / Global News

While medics aren’t seeing many typhoon-related injuries, they are treating more symptoms caused by the shortage of clean drinking water.

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“A lot of people are also coming in with gastroenteritis and diarrhea probably related to the water not being clean,” said Captain Stephanie Smith, a nurse with the Canadian Forces.

A lack of infrastructure and widespread poverty in the area is only adding to the chaos, with many doctors treating chronic illnesses as a result.

There has also been a dramatic increase in the number of respiratory problems, especially among the elderly, due to air quality issues since the typhoon.

With no power on the island, hundreds of fires are burning for cooking and clearing debris, leaving an acrid haze in the air.

Video: Drone captures devastation of Typhoon Haiyan

READ MORE: Officials seek 39 Canadians missing in Philippines

A major fire in the city of Roxas, near Canada’s DART mission, sparked by a faulty emergency generator reportedly killed three people.

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Monday another $15 million for humanitarian relief in the Philippines, bringing the total Canadian government contribution to $20 million.

Another 16 medics are also expected to arrive this week.

With files from Stuart Greer

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