SA rescue team bound for Ormoc

The Gift of the Givers rescue team will board a Swedish army plane to Ormoc.

People stand on a corner at the airport watching aid flights land in Tacloban. Picture: AFP.

MANILA - A team of rescue personnel from South African relief group Gift of the Givers is preparing to board a Swedish army plane in the Philippines to fly to the city of Ormoc, where Typhoon Haiyan left thousands of people destitute and hundreds feared dead.

The Swedish army has offered to transport the team with coast guard officials from the Philippines as they intensify relief efforts in that country.

An estimated 4,000 people have been killed by the typhoon and 1.9 million others have been displaced.

Mission commander doctor Butch Hong says the city of Ormoc has been devastated.

"We will be heading towards western Leyte, in a town of Palompon, where there are an estimated 20,000 casualties. After that we'll be going to a city called Isabel."

Meanwhile, Philippine engineers have salvaged generators from a flooded IT park to bring light back to some streets of Leyte province, the Energy Ministry said on Monday, as the World Bank offered a $500 million loan for rebuilding.

Night falls early in the tropical Philippines, which is one of the biggest challenges in ensuring security on the worst-hit island of Leyte, where an estimated 70 to 80 percent of structures in the path of the 8 November storm were reduced to matchwood and rubble.

Authorities estimate more than 3,900 people were killed when Typhoon Haiyan, one of the largest ever recorded, made landfall and the sea surged ashore. Dazed survivors desperate for food and water have looted shops and homes.

Nearly 95 percent of the deaths from the typhoon came from Leyte and Eastern Samar.

Additional reporting by Reuters.