Return to Transcripts main page


Philippines Hit by Strong Typhoon; Secretary John Kerry Doubts Kennedy's Assassination Is Solved

Aired November 8, 2013 - 20:00   ET



Breaking news tonight: we are just beginning to get our first look at what a super typhoon can do to a country of nearly 100 million people. Internationally, it is called typhoon Haiyan. In the Philippines, they call it Yolanda.

Whatever you call it, it was unlike anything most of us will ever see, even from orbit, it looks terrifying. This picture is taken just before it made landfall. It cut directly across the middle of the island nation. The islands of Leyte, Bohol, and Cebu, taking severe hits. Cebu City is home to more than 800,000 people. Look at that monster storm.

We got a correspondent on Leyte in the city Tacloban, population nearly a quarter million. We haven't yet heard from him since the storm hit. We've been repeatedly trying to get in contact with him. We have been unable to. Communications with the farthest hit areas, they are non-existent. News organizations, aid organizations, families trying to reach loved ones, none it seems can establish contact.

So there is much we do not yet know at this hour, especially about how many were killed or hurt in the typhoon. the confirmed number right now is small but looking at pictures of the storm coming ashore, it's hard to imagine that number won't rise.


COOPER (voice-over): This is a look inside perhaps one of the strongest storms in recorded history.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Super typhoon Haiyan made a direct hit on the island.

COOPER (voice-over): The typhoon slammed at the Philippines 4:30 in the morning Friday morning with winds at 195 miles per hour and guests at 235 an hour. That's higher than the winds of hurricane Sandy and Katrina combined. The powerful storm plowed through the island leaving homes and buildings destroyed. Government officials say many devastated areas will be uninhabitable for months.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: The country's president says they are facing a problem.

COOPER (voice-over): This was in the CNN Tacloban city which was in direct path of the storm. This reporter from CNN affiliate ABS-CBN was forced inside as the storm barreled in and watched the street below him become a flood zone.

Water from the storm as high as 10 feet in some areas, two barges near the city of Bohol were left stranded. The huge wave preventive rescue crews from reaching them. Crew members abandoned ship by jumping into the turning water trying to scramble back to land. As of now, one of the crew remains missing.

The typhoon came with warning. 125,000 people were able to seek refuge in evacuation shelters and in some places the cleanup has already begun. But aid workers haven't been able to reach some of the hardest hit areas with the full picture of the devastation from this powerful storm is still unknown.


COOPER: As we said, it is as these things are always still a very fluid situation. That said, I want to try to get a read on what is happening on the ground starting with Paula Hancocks in Manila.

Paula, what is the latest you are hearing on how much damage this super typhoon caused?

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, at this point, we know there is pretty extensive flooding. We know there is a lot of debris floating in the water that is going down the streets of some of the cities, as though they are rivers. So, we know there is extensive damage. We know that there have been houses damaged. We don't know just how bad it is, though. Because the sheer scale of the super typhoon means that there is so much area to cover and it's really only just become light here. So, the military planes are just about to take off. They are going to go and fly over the area to get the first aerial survey of just how bad it is. And also to see exactly who needs help, how they can get the aid to them. And if they can land in the area, of course. They don't know if the landing strips and helicopter pads are going to be flooded, as well and if they have to improvise in trying to drop this aide to the people -- Anderson.

COOPER: How long do officials believe until they will actually know how bad things are to kind of give us a sense of the overview?

HANCOCKS: Well, they are not giving us any kind of sense. I mean, I would guess it would be a day or two before we know just how bad it is. Certainly, the initial flights are going to be going over in the next couple hours. We know that some aid agencies have started their long journeys down to the area from Manila furtherer South in central Philippines, which has really being been hit hard.

The Red Cross for one, said they are going down with aid but believe it will take them about 18 hours to reach some of the hardest hit areas. Now, they do have people on the ground. They planned ahead. This is not the first typhoon this country has seen, that's for sure and they say they have some aid with them. But of course, they have no communications with the people on the ground. So it's very difficult to coordinate and extremely difficult to know how bad it is.

COOPER: Yes. I mean, as you said, the country is used to typhoons but never seen anything this strong, correct?

HANCOCKS: No, absolutely not. And it seems as though the whole world has never seen anything this strong. This is just above and beyond anything the Philippines certainly would be used to. The hope is that people actually heeded the warnings and they actually listened to the president when he went on air and said this is a calamity about happen. This is a very real danger. There is a desperate hope people listened to that. The people in low lying areas moved inland, move into a higher areas. And those that actually live right on the coast actually moved away, because we've seen footage of the storm surge and we've seen houses being carried away. So, we certainly hope that people listened to those warnings. And of course, some of these houses are flimsy, they are very poor areas. So, it is unlikely that many of those would have actually survived the storm.

COOPER: Yes. Paula from Manila, thanks for the reporting,.

Typhoon Haiyan is not through yet. It is still on the move, still deadly. Chad Myers is tracking the storm. He joins us now.

So, put this in perspective, just how devastating is this storm? How big is it?

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It's bigger than anything we've ever seen in America, Anderson. This is the wind force of 195 mile per hour storm, knocked everything down, tore trees out of the ground. If trees still there, ripped bark off. This is like a 20-mile wide F4 tornado that will right across the country. We don't even have the worst pictures yet. We may not get them for days.

This will take a long time to clean up. There is a bowling ball that rolled right through those islands that you talked about and literally everything got knocked out. That's with the wind.

Now, the wind also generated a huge wave, a huge storm surge. I can see 40 or 50 feet coming into some of these towns and cities that you're talking about. There is damage everywhere and we can't get a handle on it because we've never seen damage from 195-mile per hour wind in a hurricane, only in a tornado.

COOPER: Particularly on an island where some of the structures are not that, you know, all that well made. I mean, we're talking about all variety, all manner of structures the people are living in. Looking forward, the storm is dangerous. It is heading now where, to Vietnam?

MYERS: It is heading to Vietnam. It's back out into the ocean and as it gets into the warm water, it may actually stay fairly strong. By tomorrow thinking category four or equal to what is a category four hurricane. They still call it typhoon. It is no longer a super typhoon because it's not above 150 anymore, it's 145, like we are going to split hairs at 145. But then, making landfall somewhere very close to Danang. And we have known about town for a very long time.

COOPER: Chad, thanks.

Joining me now is Mark Dyer, response team leader with the aid organization Shelter Box. He is in Bohol.

Can you explain where you are and what you have been seeing and hearing?

MARK DYER, RESPONSE TEAM LEADER, SHELTER BOX (via phone): Yes. We're on the island of Bohol, which is on the central islands of the Philippines. The storm came -- we're actually here because of the earthquake that came through about three weeks ago. So people were severely damaged over 34,000 homes destroyed. As the typhoon came through, most of those people were living in temporary shelters or under tarpaulins. We were working to move them into hard shelters as the typhoon came through. We have them moving into whatever hard shelter did exist. This island got massive amounts of rain over the 24 hour period. We've seen a lot of flooding. There's reports of landslides. We've got houses that have been damaged in that. And then in addition to that so many temporary shelters have been blown away in the wind.

COOPER: Did people have a place to go, a place to evacuate, too?

DYER: It depended where they were. There were definitely some schools that were not totally destroyed during the earthquake. There were some homes that survived, but it was definitely working together to get people into the hard shelters.

COOPER: Do you have any sense of how many people were actually in shelters?

DYER: We don't. We don't have those numbers.

COOPER: All right. And in terms of where you are compared to like Tacloban, which we are hearing, you know, was in the direct path of the storm, how far are you?

DYER: We're just west of Leyte. So, we were on the outside edge of definitely on the outside edge of the main storm surge.

COOPER: So being on the outside edge, how do they compare to storms you have been through in the past or seen? Is it -- was it -- how did it compare?

DYER: It -- you know, it was very, very substantial storm. A lot of wind, obviously. A lot of wind damage and huge amounts of rain. It basically just -- intonations with rain over 24-hour period.

COOPER: Do you have other people in the areas that were in the direct path of the storm? And if so, have you been able to actually contact any of them? DYER: We have a four-person team moving up into that area, but not in it during the storm.

COOPER: How able are they to actually get there? Obviously, transportation is very difficult right now. There is a lot of flooding, you know, a lot of debris around.

DYER: Right, where we are, it's a lot of downed trees, a lot of flooding. So, it's very slow to move around the island. But, it is now light here so people are starting to clear out the roads and get the transportation lines open.

COOPER: What is the biggest priority right now in terms of aid of relief?

DYER: Relief from the earthquake was really temporary shelter. That's now switched to typhoon relief, and that's a combination of shelter and water at this point.

COOPER: Well, Mark Dyer, I appreciate you talking with us.

Still again, we're trying to gather as much information as we can from as many points as we can. We'll check in with Mark and our other people in the region. Again, we're trying to reestablish or establish contact with the correspondent who was in Tacloban. They do have satellite communication, but we have not been able to actually establish contact with them nor have aid organizations establish contact with their people in the hardest hit areas, which is obviously extremely worrying.

Follow me in Twitter @anderson cooper. You can tweet us using #AC360.

We are going to continue to try to get more information on the ground next and also throughout the hour, updates as well from Chad Myers on the still powerful, still deadly storm.


COOPER: Welcome back.

It is just past 900 a.m. in the morning the Philippines. People there, family here in the United States and all over the around the world bracing for very bad news. With each hour, we expect to learn more about the scope of the damage from possibly the strongest storm ever, ever recorded.

Joining us now from Manila is Kathy Novak, Australia's special broadcasting service.

Kathy, tell me about the area the typhoon hit hardest? From what I understand, it is relatively poor buildings may not be constructed all that well.

KATHY NOVAK, REPORTER, SBS AUSTRALIA: Well, that's right. The Philippines is made up of a number of islands, Anderson, and the typhoon was hitting along these coastal areas. And people have their houses build right up against the coast. And when I say houses, they may not be houses like many of your viewers would be picturing. These are the sort of make-shift structures and a lot of cases, they made out quite flimsy building material. And we are talking about such a powerful category five storm. If you can imagine, your average building may not be able to sustain the power of that storm and now we are talking about plywood and sheet metal and those kinds of materials being used to make these houses. And it is hard to imagine that they could withstand the power of that storm.

COOPER: And really, information is scarce right now from the hardest hit areas. Have you heard anything out of the affected areas as far as damage?

NOVAK: I'm hearing the same thing you're hearing, Anderson, which is specifically Tacloban is completely cut off. The government is having trouble of reaching its people there and it's been many, many hours since anyone has heard of anything in Tacloban which is where you correspondent is and that's the major concern. In the surrounding areas, we're starting to hear some reports trickle in and that is largely of damage to property.

As you mentioned, the death toll remains quite low but that is of course, because we think we cannot get information out of these areas. The other thing that you have touched on earlier is that the surrounding area takes hilt in Bohol, that is the region that was hit so badly by the 7.1 magnitude quake just last month killing 200 people and leaving 5,000 homeless. Those people living in tents and then had to be moved to evacuation centers. In many of these regions, some reports that we are hearing is that the evacuation centers themselves have been damaged and roofs ripped clean off. So, I think there will be still a lot of reports of damage and destruction in these areas to come, Anderson.

COOPER: Do you have a sense of how prepared people were, how prepared the government was for a storm of this magnitude? I mean, nobody has seen a storm of this magnitude even in the country, in the Philippines where they are used to typhoons.

NOVAK: They are used to them, Anderson. We get about 20 typhoons a year here in the Philippines, but nothing as you say like this. One of the good things was that there were early warnings that this was going to be a major event. And people did heed the warnings to evacuate from the day before it was supposed to hit and even earlier in the week.

So, the government and the president went on national television and told people to really listen to those warnings and leave and go to these evacuation centers if they were in these regions that were hard hit.

But the truth is, Anderson, the Philippines is a poor country. It is hard for many families to find the food and water they need to eat at the best of times and now you add in this disaster, and it is going to be very difficult for both the government and aid agencies to cope. COOPER: Well, Kathy, appreciate the reporting. We'll continue to check in with you.

I want to quickly check back to Chad Myers for more on the storm.

MYERS: Yes. Anderson, here is Manila. And people are asking me, I'm getting hundreds of tweets, what is going on in Manila? Manila is fine. Manila got winds 40 to 50. This is the path. And let me take you along this path where winds were 195 miles per hour coming on shore right through here. Look at this. This, 195 mile per hour storm bumped up against a very flat coastline and she was just talking about Tacloban.

Tacloban is right here. I suspect that we had a way, a surge 40 to 50 feet high, right through here forcing its way into Tacloban. Keep going in a little bit closer, we can get right into the city. Everyone she was mentioning lives along the coastline here. If your house is ten feet tall and there is a 40 foot wave coming in to your city, you are going to get effected big time. They had to move these people away from the coast.

Something else that happened that right there is the airport. The airport sent out a text, airport destroyed, send help. That was the last communication that came out of that airport. This is the entire city here, basically a bay, the water coming up in this bay. The storm surge devastated Tacloban.

COOPER: Chad, appreciate that update.

I want to turn next to Maryann Zamora who is in Cebu City for the Global Relief Organization World Vision. She joins us now by phone.

There are already reports of death Maryann in the province where you are. What are you seeing and hearing on the ground?

MARYANN ZAMORA, FIELD REPORTER, WORLD VISION PHILIPPINES (via phone): Yes. This morning it's -- the sun is up. It's so good that now we're like seeing bridge around compared to yesterday that was horrible. Yesterday we were seeing billboards flying just like kites. And wind was whistling. It was so strong and even heavy downpours.

So, what we are really concerned on are those like the others are talking about, what we're really concerned of are our colleagues in Tacloban. We really don't have any communication with them, and I'm not sure if how are they. I hope they are doing good. But in some areas, also in the western parts of Visayas, we're actually hearing news from our colleagues that their houses were ripped off. The houses was like -- they are now home -- they are now homeless, due to the devastation brought by the monstrous typhoon, Haiyan.

COOPER: So, what right now for you is the biggest priority in terms of the organization?

ZAMORA: Like for now. like in Tacloban and Tacloban and Samar, we're just hopeful in trying to keep in touch with our fellow aid worker and to check how are these people, how our registered families and specially children are coping up right now. that's the main concern of the organization right now. We have to account all the people, all the staff and all our covered families.

COOPER: Maryann, I wish you and all your people the best and we'll continue to check in with you.

We are going to have more on the typhoon's impact on the Philippines throughout much of the program. We will also check back with Chad Myers in the weather center for the latest on the storm's progress because it's still a very powerful deadly storm.

Up next, a powerful voice in the U.S. government weighs in on the Kennedy assassination. He is making headlines tonight saying he does not believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. We are talking about secretary of state John Kerry saying this.


COOPER: Well, some bombshell comments by secretary of state John Kerry on the eve of the President John F. Kennedy's assassination in Dallas. The warren commission concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in JFK's murder.

John Kerry is not convinced. He spoke to Tom Brokaw of NBC News.


TOM BROKAW, NBC NEWS: Where do you come down on the conspiracy theories?

JOHN KERRY, SECRETARY OF STATE: To this day I have serious doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

BROKAW: Really?

KERRY: I certainly have doubts he was motivated by himself. I mean, I'm not sure if anybody else was involved. I don't go down that road with respect to the grassy novel theory and all of that. But I have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of Lee Harvey Oswald's time and influence from Cuba and Russia.

BROKAW: And what about the CIA?

KERRY: I've never gone there. I don't believe that.

BROKAW: But you think the Russians and Cubans may have had something to do with that?

KERRY: I think he was inspired somewhere by something and I don't know what or any. I can't pin anything down on that, Tom. And I never spent a lot of time.


COOPER: That's really fascinating. The five decades in JFK's murder, a lot of Americans firmly have never believed that Oswald acted alone or was even a lone gunman.

We are joined by Phil Shenon, author of the "a cruel and shocking act, the secret history of the Kennedy assassination or just have a critical was on commission" and vice presidential historian, Douglas Brinkley of Rice University.

So Doug, what do you make of what the secretary there is saying, that he has doubts that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, PRESIDENTIAL HISTORIAN: Well, as he said, a lot of Americans share that view. There's been a big mystery what Oswald was doing in Russia and there is distinguish (INAUDIBLE) that went over there and try to dig out documents on the Cuban connection, the fair play with Cuba, Oswald's affiliation. So, I think all of that's legitimate. It is a little surprising that secretary of state Kerry wanted to get involved with all of this. It's going to be just maybe a (INAUDIBLE) or maybe a delusion that Johnstown flood of conspiracy theories now leaping on this and putting secretary Kerry on top of their side.

It's little like Vietnam, Anderson, where you were a dove or hawk. You either believe Oswald acted alone or you believe in a conspiracy and Kerry joined that conspiracy camp today.

Phil, Kerry specifically challenge the findings of the warren commission that was established by President Johnson to investigate the assassination for not looking into the ties to Cuba and to Russia, which you uncover in your book. Do you agree with Kerry on this?

PHILIP SHENON, AUTHOR, A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT: Well, there is this remarkable thing that seven weeks before the assassination, Lee Harvey Oswald goes to Mexico city where he's dealing with Cuban spies and Russian spies and Mexican civilians who are very supportive or Castro's revolution. At the height of the cold war at a time Castro is aware of the Kennedy administration is trying to kill him and the question becomes did anybody whisper in Oswald's ear if you ever have your chance to kill the president, do it. And there is evidence to suggest that Oswald spoke openly in Mexico city of his intention to kill President Kennedy.

COOPER: So, why would the warren commission not had use that information if it was so important? I mean, do you think a cover-up is involved?

SHENON: Well, it's clear from the documentary record that there was a real effort to hide evidence of the warren commission about what happened in Mexico city. And the CIA and the FBI very clearly did not want to get to the bottom of what happened in Mexico.

COOPER: Doug, Tom Brokaw raises theories about the CIA conspiracy theory about that they had some sort of a role. John Kerry dismissed that. What do you make of it?

BRINKLEY: Yes. I think John Kerry was right to dismiss that. Again, I don't think he said anything wrong. It's just a little bit surprising. But this is the big mystery in America about Lee Harvey Oswald. Everybody has a feeling about it. And the warren commission was done quickly. The point for Lyndon Johnson was to get something out. People wanted some closure to move on with life in America. And also, how are we going to do with the Soviet Union after this to uploaded in the warren commission theories that the Soviets killed Kennedy would have created, you know, kind of a meltdown of national security. It would have made the cold war tensions higher, hence, it was done fast and sometimes hastily the warren commission. It doesn't mean they were wrong that Oswald was the one who done that.

COOPER: It's interesting, Phil, I mean, as you write in your book, a lot of evidence was destroyed or damaged. Can you explain that and why that happened?

SHENON: Well, I mean, evidence begins disappearing from government files within hours of President Kennedy's death. The night after the assassination, the Navy pathologist who carried out the autopsy actually pushed the original autopsy report and all of his notes from the autopsy room into the fireplace of his home and watched it turn to ash. And that's just the start. And in Mexico city, apparently, there may well have been photographs of Oswald taken by the CIA and tape recordings of his telephone call with the Soviet and Cuban embassies and all of that would disappear as well.

COOPER: Doug, I mean, obviously 50 years since the president died. Do you think what we will ever really know exactly what happened, particularly about Oswald's time in Russia, his time down in Mexico City?

BRINKLEY: That's a good question maybe. I'm not sure we'll get it on the 50th anniversary. The question is what does Russia have in their archives? A lot of materials have been gotten out of Belarus and other places and the Soviet Union has contributed things, but there might be more documents down the line. As of now, I think this whole anniversary is going to end and people will still be unclear on who killed Kennedy, although I would say about 70 percent, 80 percent of scholars think Oswald acted alone.

COOPER: Phil, do you think there was some involvement by Russia and Cuba?

SHENON: We'll never know because those questions really should have been asked aggressively 49 years ago, and the decision was made to hide a lot of this from the Warren Commission. I should point out though that Secretary Kerry is just adding his name to a list of powerful people who have doubted the Warren Commission report including President Johnson, President Johnson dies believing that Castro killed President Kennedy.

BRINKLEY: Robert Kennedy Jr. recently questioned the Warren Commission, too, some members of the family questioned, it also.

COOPER: Fifty years later, still a lot of questions. Doug, Phil, thank you very much. Appreciate it.

Just ahead tonight, Secretary Kerry is in Geneva focusing on current events. He is there for nuclear talks with Iran. The question is, are we really getting closer to a deal? We'll examine that.

Plus more on tonight's breaking news, the typhoon taking aim at Vietnam. We'll have the latest on the storm and destruction it's leaving behind.


COOPER: Well, the White House has obviously spent much of the week try to put to rest concerns about the problems with its web site. There are certainly a lot of press over people whose insurance plans are being canceled despite President Obama's repeated promises that those who like their health insurance could keep it.

Last night, he said they are looking at a range of options to address the problem. Here is what his point person, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said today.


KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: Well, there isn't, I would say, at this point a specific plan. We're looking at a number of options where there may be an opportunity for that number of people to look at plans that they have right now, but there isn't any specific proposal at table immediately.


COOPER: Well, tonight, two Republican senators are using new numbers to suggest that Obamacare is not working. Senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta joins us now. So the news doesn't seem to be getting any better for Obamacare. Administration officials gave a warning that the initial enrollment numbers are expected to be low, but the numbers there in Washington, D.C. are pretty stunning.

JIM ACOSTA, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They are depressingly low, Anderson. We have letters from top insurers here in Washington, D.C. who do participate with the Obamacare exchange in the District of Columbia and these letters were released by Republican Senators Orrin Hatch and Charles Grassley. I have one in front of me right now.

It says that they have up until October 24th of this year only two enrollees with this one company Blue Cross Blue Shield. There is another company that said that they have only had three enrollees and that's all for the entire District of Columbia and so it is a very dismal performance.

I will tell you that House Republicans have been eager to get their hands on these enrollment numbers. They actually issued a subpoena to the Obama administration to deliver those numbers by the end of today. We just found out this evening, Anderson, that the Obama administration is not going to comply.

We have a letter to show you another letter, Anderson, from the Department of Health and Human Services saying that that is not going to happen. The letter is saying because this process takes time to put this information together, they don't have the information ready at this point.

COOPER: For the millions of Americans being dropped from their insurance policies, President Obama has said that they need to find some kind of fix, but did Secretary Kathleen Sebelius offer any good news on that front today --


COOPER: Because her answers certainly didn't seem to right there.

ACOSTA: That's right. Well, you heard what she had to say, Anderson, that was the extent of it. That no they do not have a plan, at least not one, they are willing to talk about at this point. There are some proposals floating around that they might extend perhaps some of the subsidies that are available out there.

But that can't be done administratively from what I'm hearing from sources up on Capitol Hill that they would need to pass legislation to expand those subsidies and right now Congress is in no mood to do that sort of thing right now. As a matter of fact, Anderson, there are some other complications that are coming up for the web site, which is what the Obama administration keeps coming back to and saying once we get the web site up and running by the end of the month, many of our problems will be solved.

Well, Jeffrey Zients, the man who is in charge of fixing the web site held a conference call with reporters earlier today, Anderson. He said on this conference call it remains a long way from where it needs to be and he said also that as they have been trying to fix other problems, new problems have come up complicating this process and raising some doubts, frankly that this web site is going to be ready in time by the end of the month -- Anderson.

COOPER: Clearly, the president himself last night started to try to lower expectations that the entire web site would be as functional as promised by the end of November, which is pretty, again, just stunning because just a week or two ago, that's the date they were giving.

ACOSTA: That's right. What they are now saying is it will be ready for the vast majority of Americans by the end of the month. They are not ruling out the possibility that there may be additional glitches or technical problems with the web site, but Jeffrey Zients on that conference call today said despite these new issues that seem to be emerging, they are confident that this web site will be ready by the end of the month, Anderson.

But can you imagine December 1st, people go to the web site and it's not working, there will be major, major problems here in Washington. Even Democrats who are frustrated with this are going to be almost up in arms, I think, Anderson, if this problem is not solved by the end of the month.

COOPER: Yes, Jim, appreciate the update. Thanks very much, Jim.

Another interesting headline, we're not casting down on the official version of the Kennedy assassination, Secretary of State Kerry has been at the negotiating table in Geneva. He and other top members of the U.N. Security Council talked to Iran's foreign minister trying to reach a deal to diffuse his country's nuclear program. The talks broke up for the night.

As delicate as they are, however, there are also outside parties that can torpedo a deal namely Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who believes the White House is being played by Iran. Today, President Obama reached out to the prime minister.

Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto has more on that call and the talks. He joins us now. First, how close are the two sides to an actual deal? Is this really going to happen?

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, it looks like it could be real. You have a diplomatic flurry today. The foreign ministers of every country involved in these talks, Secretary Kerry, foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, and now Russia joining tomorrow getting to Geneva. You get the sense they wouldn't take this diplomatic risk and show up if they didn't think that it was, one, it would make a difference or bridge the final gaps that remain.

But also a deal wasn't imminent because they are sticking their necks out right to be there now as is Secretary Kerry. So you get the sense there is real progress, real momentum here, but as Secretary Kerry said this morning as he arrived, there are still gaps that they have to bridge.

COOPER: What might a deal actually look like?

SCIUTTO: We've got a pretty good sense. They are calling it an interim deal because any agreement would be in two phases. You have a first phase over six months where there would be confidence building measures and each side giving something up. So the Iranians would agree not to enrich uranium up to 20 percent, which is a step below what's necessary for weapons grade.

They would also not activate the most advance centrifuges that spin this uranium into weapons grade and not open the Iraq heavy water nuclear reactor, which is another path to a bomb, a plutonium reactor and the U.S. would keep the most astringent sanctions in place.

For instance, on Iran's oil program, but they would unfreeze some of Iran's assets overseas and get some foreign exchange, which they need and also allow them access to things like the gold market, the petro chemicals market. So initial steps, reversible steps the administration makes that point if Iran doesn't follow through later, but each side giving something here.

COOPER: And Israel's prime minister thinks the U.S. is basically getting played? SCIUTTO: Absolutely and he said in no uncertain terms and he said it publicly after he had a meeting this morning with Secretary Kerry, very unusual thing to do to come out with quite angry words. Now his point, and this is a point made by some American lawmakers today, Eliot Engel, a Democrat put a statement similar saying that listen, Iran is not agreeing to suspend all enrichment.

They are allowed to enrich up to 3.5 percent, which can get you to nuclear fuel and do some medical research with that. The demand for many is they have to stop everything for you to believe that there is something real here. The administration's position is listen, if they stop at that point, we are at least halting Iran's advance towards a nuclear weapon while we negotiate a bigger deal.

That's really been the key concern here, Anderson, that you don't aloe that type to shrink between today and the point where Iran would have enough of this material to actually make a bomb and that's where the administration said they had progress.

COOPER: All right, Jim, appreciate the update. Thanks very much. More on the typhoon and what could be epic damage in its way, an update from Chad Myers.


COOPER: Breaking news, we're only now beginning to see the damage from possibly the most powerful storm ever to strike land. Typhoon Haiyan is now taking aim at Vietnam after hammering the Philippines. We're going to have the latest on the devastation from Chad Myers in a moment.

First, this is far from the only monstrous storm the planet of course has seen. Gary Tuchman has the story.


GARY TUCHMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): We can see them coming, but we can't stop them.

(on camera): Most people evacuated, but there are a lot of people still here. We have seen -- we have seen roofs collapse. We have seen signs go down. Firefighters are helping people to evacuate.

(voice-over): These are some of the world's most powerful hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones that hit in modern history. The U.S. has been hit by three Category 5 hurricanes since the turn of the 20th Century. The most powerful hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. hit in 1935, unnamed storm that ripped through the Florida Keys with winds of up to 200 miles per hour on land. More than 400 people were killed.

Thirty four years later in 1969, the second Category 5, Hurricane Camille, frightened millions from Cuba, Mississippi to Louisiana. Camille had reached a velocity of 190 miles per hour as it spun in the warm waters back in August of that year. At least 259 people were killed. And then the third Category 5 in 1992, Hurricane Andrew decimated parts of South Florida. It was the first tropical storm of the year, the end of August when it struck.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The glass in the showers was actually vibrating and shaking.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The building was shaking just like if it was a 0.3 on the Richter scale.

TUCHMAN: It was one of the costliest natural disasters on record with at least $26 billion of damage in 1992. Other storms didn't hit as fives, but have become equally as infamous. Hurricane Katrina, 2005, at first hit Cuba and Florida before rampaging upon the shores of Louisiana and Mississippi as a strong category four hurricane.

In New Orleans, catastrophic levee system failures led to tragedy. More than 1,800 people died during Katrina and more than $100 billion worth of damage.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're dirty. We wade in the water, the dirty filthy water.

TUCHMAN: Katrina hit in the busiest hurricane year in recorded U.S. weather history. Hurricane Wilma hit two months later, the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, the winds were clocked at 185 miles per hour before it hit land. It weakened as it hit the Florida Keys, but killed 45 people on its run, $21 billion worth of damage.

Hurricane Hugo was also a category five hurricane while spinning in the Atlantic in 1989. It hit the Caribbean and then South Carolina with 135-mile per hour winds. At least 100 people died, billions of dollars in damage.

The deadliest hurricane in U.S. history was in 1900 in Galveston, Texas. At least 8,000 people died when the unnamed storm came through. Outside the U.S. the deadliest storm on record was the cyclone in Bangladesh in 1970. The powerful storm killed up to 550,000. In 2008 cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, 138,000 people were said to be killed, but it's commonly believed the death toll was much higher as is often the case in immense catastrophic storms. Gary Tuchman, CNN, Atlanta.


COOPER: Well, back now to the storm of the moment and perhaps of all time. Chad has got more from the weather center -- Chad.

CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It was a big one. It was 195 gusting to 235 miles per hour as it slammed into the Philippines right over those towns we've been talking about. Category 4, equal to a category 4 hurricane now sitting in the ocean in the South China Sea and making landfall in Vietnam likely as a Category 2 or 3 equivalent. They don't categorize the cyclone. It a cyclone or it's a super typhoon or it's -- you got that cut off, the cut off is 150 miles per hour soft super typhoon above 150, typhoon above 150. No numbers.

We put them on for reference so that you know what it really means. Saturday afternoon making landfall likely as 125 mile per hour storm there not that far from parts of Vietnam. There is the storm there. It rolled right across the country. It rolled right across Tacloban down to Ormoc and then right out here and parked itself right in the South China Sea -- Anderson.

COOPER: Chad, appreciate that. Thanks. A lot of people here in the U.S. are trying to reach loved ones in the Philippines with no success. Katsy Borromeo-Chiongbian of Chicago joins me now. Katsy, I understand you are trying to find your father. What is the latest you knew about his whereabouts when the storm came through?

KATSY BORROMEO-CHIONGBIAN, FATHER IN TACLOBAN (via telephone): Last I heard, my mom spoke to him at 6:00 a.m. yesterday. He basically said that it's coming and it's strong. He was in the hotel, yes.

COOPER: Which city was he in?

CHIONGBIAN: He was in Tacloban.


CHIONGBIAN: One of the major areas damaged.

COOPER: Did he tell you what he was going to do to prepare for the storm?

CHIONGBIAN: No, we -- we didn't even -- it came so fast and -- no. We didn't even get to talk about that, no.

COOPER: Yes. How much time has your dad spent there?

CHIONGBIAN: He's there often. I would say two to three times a month.

COOPER: I know you've been listening to radio reports in the Philippines. What have you been hearing? I know nobody can really get people in Tacloban. What other information have you been hearing?

CHIONGBIAN: My friend from the Philippines said this radio station said that there are no establishments that are standing and I have information given to us by a family friend that the military cargo planes are coming in with technicians this morning in the Philippines to repair lines, but I don't know what they can expect.

COOPER: I can tell you, I do know Philippine military aircraft has started heading toward the hardest hit areas. We have been in touch with the Philippine military on that. So I can verify that for you.

CHIONGBIAN: Thank you. COOPER: How is your family holding up? How is your mom holding up?

CHIONGBIAN: It's not good. My mom right now is in Manila for a religious retreat. I'm guessing she's praying over there with her friends and my family in Cebu where we're based are tuning in and getting as much information as we can because there isn't a lot out there.

COOPER: I know you said the Philippine radio report said there are no structures in Tacloban. It's the not knowing at this point that has to be so difficult.

CHIONGBIAN: Yes, true.

COOPER: Well, Katsy I wish you the best. We'll continue to check in with you and stay strong. Thank you.

CHIONGBIAN: Thank you so much and God bless.

COOPER: There are ways to help the people of the Philippines. You can go to for details.

Just ahead, the facts only now emerging from the Navy yard shooting rampage, a very different picture from the one we had on that day.


COOPER: There is a lot more happening tonight. Susan Hendricks has the 360 Bulletin -- Susan.

SUSAN HENDRICKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a traffic jam outside Washington's Navy yard, not a tactical command prevented a special U.S. Capitol police unit from reaching the scene of a mass shooting in September. That's according to an internal police review. Now, initial media reports said capitol police were the first on the scene and pulled back. Thirteen people including the gunman died in the shooting.

More fallout for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, his weekly radio show has been canceled. The station that carried it said the decision was mutual. Ford is under pressure to resign after admitting he used crack cocaine and having drunken stupors on a regular basis.

Fresh off his re-election, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a brief appearance on Michael J. Fox's new sitcom. He played himself making light of speculation that a possible presidential bid. Christie said his political cameo was taped a few months ago. Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: Susan, thanks very much. That's all the time we have for this edition of 360. Thanks for joining us. "PIERS MORGAN LIVE" is up next.