If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yolanda Aftermath

Tragedies bring out the best and worst in people.

As tons of garbage left by the storm surge caused by super typhoon Yolanda still litter villages, the stench of the dead have started to pervade the air. Despite this, some have opted to go back to what's left of their houses to begin the process of rebuilding.

Yet, behind the efforts of many Tacloban residents to rise up, thousands are unable to do so. Many can't even identify the pieces of their houses from the mountains of debris. Many are waiting for help from the government, primarily for food and water.

Each person has his own way of coping with crisis.

For Tacloban residents, coping with the destruction wrought by super typhoon Yolanda means finding ways to adjust to the harsh reality they are now facing, especially when the government they are desperately looking to for relief, cannot cope with the magnitude of the post-disaster work.

Survivors have found a way to ignore the piles of garbage and bodies that remain uncollected. What they desperately need now, particularly from government, are the most basic needs--food and water. Trade has been been shut down and money has no value in the city right now.

For the rest of their needs, they only have themselves to depend on.
Frustrations are running high in Tacloban City 4 days after a storm surge brought by super typhoon Yolanda devastated the city and its surrounding areas. 

The storm surge brought sea water as high as 20 feet inland sweeping away nearly everything in its path. In the aftermath, water and food supplies are quickly running out. There's no power and almost no telecommunication facilities. 

The city remains littered, with tons of garbage piled up on streets. Establishments abandoned at the height of the storm surge have been ransacked. The Provincial Capitol of Leyte, with debris on its front yard, is being used as temporary shelter for evacuees. 

Security is limited as only a few soldiers are patrolling the streets.
The municipal, provincial and national government have all been overwhelmed by the unprecedented magnitude of the devastation. The result is almost total chaos.

In a state of hell, survivors of Super typhoon “Yolanda” picked up religious idols and just marched forward, and photographer Philippe Lopez picked up his camera and shot one iconic moment.

A week after 'Yolanda' struck eastern Visayas, Tacloban is still reeling from the devastating effects of the storm surge generated by the super typhoon.
Many did not anticipate the magnitude of Yolanda and the scale of destruction it would leave behind.

Taclobanons and other survivors are still trying to make sense of what's left and how to move on.

After Yolanda destroyed everything they have, many have left their villages altogether, choosing to go on with their lives in other places.
But many have chosen to rebuild their houses on the same space where they once stood.

The government has been slow to respond to the uncertainties, but the system, with the help of foreign friends, is slowly correcting itself.
The situation is still far from returning to normal, and the following scenes won't change much in the weeks ahead. 

No image can give you the magnitude of the devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda in Leyte and Samar provinces. One has to be there to feel both the physical and psychological impact of a disaster that swept whole villages and took thousands of lives. 

The following photographs, done by photographer Fung Yu and published originally on his website 360journals.com, gives the best reproduction, like the first time one stares in disbelief and makes a sweeping 360-degree view of all the destruction around you. 

GALLERY: Images of Yolanda aftermath

Get a full view of 44 strategic areas in and around Tacloban City in 360-degree interactive photographs. 360º View: Yolanda devastated areas


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