From the Wall St. Journal, Typhoon Haiyan: How a Catastrophe Unfolded. Some of the key points are:
But many of their efforts, it turned out, were woefully inadequate. Some officials miscalculated the biggest threat that Typhoon Haiyan posed to the city and its surroundings. They used a term for the storm that wasn’t widely understood. They grossly underestimated the havoc the storm would wreak, stocking far too few supplies for a city to survive on in an emergency. And they failed, despite vigorous efforts, to move many of the most vulnerable people out of harm’s way. For almost 24 hours, local and national officials in Tacloban had no way even to call for help. They had simply failed to imagine a storm so large.