Before-after photos of Philippines typhoon devastation

Satellite photos taken before and after Typhoon Haiyan hit the city of Tacloban in the Philippines show the enormity of the devastation.

The enormity of the devastation in the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan becomes apparent when comparing satellite photographs of Tacloban, Philippines, taken before and after the typhoon hit on Friday. Thousands of people were killed as the typhoon leveled once vibrant communities.

Haiyan was among the most powerful typhoons on record when it struck, with wind estimates at landfall as high as 195 mph. Now, survivors struggle for food, water and medicine as relatives elsewhere pray for their families.

Related: How to help Philippine typhoon survivors

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

Two days before the typhoon hit, officials rolled through this city with bullhorns, urging residents to get to higher ground or take refuge in evacuation centers. Warnings were broadcast on state television and radio. Some left. Some didn't.

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov 10.

 

Related: Agony flows from unwatched threat: A wall of water

 

 

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

Residents steeled themselves for the high winds, floods and mudslides that routinely come with the typhoons that afflict this tropical nation. But virtually no one was prepared for Typhoon Haiyan's storm surge, a 20-foot-high wall of water headed straight for them.

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov. 10.

 

Related: Tons of aid in Philippines, but not where needed

 

 

 

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

The first news reports suggested the country might have escaped a major catastrophe. The reality was that Tacloban and other hard-hit communities had been cut off, with electricity and cell phone towers knocked out.

 

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov. 10,

 

Related: 8 killed as looting breaks out in typhoon-hit city

 

 

 

 

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

The worries in Talcoban had been on the wind much more than the water. That's why many of the 800,000 people who were evacuated found themselves in seemingly sturdy concrete buildings that could not protect them when the storm surge — sea water pushed by the typhoon — rushed in.

 

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov. 10.

 

Related: Experts say man, nature share blame in typhoon tragedy

 

 

 

 

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

The water rose so high that some residents punched holes in their roofs with their bare hands to escape.

 

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

 

 

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov. 10.

 

Related: Birth amid typhoon debris cheered in Philippines

 

 

 

 

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Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Feb. 23, 2012.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

BEFORE: Tacloban on Feb. 23, 2012.

Bulldozers have cleared debris from most main streets, but the sidewalks are filled with everything imaginable: broken speakers, typewriters, cables, artificial Christmas trees. There have been no major food distributions. International humanitarian organizations have yet to arrive. With no tents, people are sleeping in destroyed homes.

 

 

Typhoon Haiyan: Satellite photo of Tacloban, Philippines, taken on Sunday, Nov. 10.Getty Images: DigitalGlobe

 

AFTER: Tacloban on Sunday, Nov. 10.

 

More photos: Typhoon Haiyan devastates Philippines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Associated Press writer Todd Pitman contributed to this report.

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