Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Classes reopen in Philippine typhoon zone
by Staff Writers
Tacloban, Philippines (AFP) Jan 06, 2014

Schools reopened Monday in badly damaged central Philippine towns for the first time since one of the world's strongest storms ever to hit land killed thousands two months ago.

Crowding into makeshift classrooms built from tarpaulins and plywood, the children -- many of them still traumatised -- sat quietly as teachers tried to engage them in friendly banter.

Mothers refused to leave the tents despite appeals from teachers to let the children slowly resume their daily routine, an AFP reporter said.

"Only about 50 percent of our school's nearly 1,000 pupils are back," lamented principal Maria Evelyn Encina in the seaside village of San Roque near the central city of Tacloban, where giant tsunami-like waves triggered by Super Typhoon Haiyan wiped out entire neighbourhoods.

She said at least nine students had been among the dead, although the fate of many others and their families remained unknown.

"They could be in evacuation centres or taken in by their relatives in the mass evacuation that followed," Encina said. "But we can't know for sure. We just want to let them know wherever they are that we are here waiting for them."

What passes for a community learning centre now are desks under a white tent donated by relief organisations.

It sits about 50 metres from the sea, in an area that the government has officially dubbed a "permanent danger zone", the principal said.

"We need a more permanent structure in the longer term, but in the meantime this will suffice," Encina said.

Haiyan cut a swathe of destruction when it struck on November 8, bringing powerful winds that topped 315 kilometres (197 miles) an hour. It also triggered giant storm surges which swamped large areas, leaving nearly 8,000 dead or missing and nearly 30,000 others injured.

It also displaced four million people, 1.7 million of them children, according to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

The agency along with other groups is leading a campaign to help some 550,000 children, teachers and day care workers return to schools.

"UNICEF's objective is to ensure that children affected by typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan's local name) return to quality learning as soon as possible," said the group's officer in charge in the Philippines, Angela Kearney.

By re-establishing a daily routine, UNICEF says it hopes to transform schools into "safe spaces" that provide some sense of normalcy.

It said that with children back in school, parents would also have more time to rebuild their ruined homes.

But with memories of the surging, towering waves still fresh, mother of six Milet Labrado, 42, was not taking any chances.

"The school is just too near the sea, and we survived by clinging to each other," she said, while anxiously watching her youngest, a six-year-old boy, mingle with his classmates.

"I still see my neighbours being taken away by the waves in my dreams everyday," Labrado said.

"I am not yet prepared to leave my boy and entrust him to anyone."


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Typhoon brings unexpected medical relief to Philippine town
Basey, Philippines (AFP) Jan 05, 2014
A devastating typhoon that killed thousands of people in the Philippines has unexpectedly given young traffic accident victim Mario Renos hope that he could one day walk again. Hit by a motorcycle while walking to school months before Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the central islands, the 13-year-old's shrivelled legs are taking their first steps to recovery at a Red Cross tent hospital put up ... read more

Four arrested over Italy quake contract bribes

Philippine inflation jumps following Haiyan

System of phone alerts could warn of extreme weather in India

'Village of Widows' determined to rebuild in India flood disaster

Computers search for 'cheapium' versions of expensive materials

New compounds discovered that are hundreds of times more mutagenic

Japanese scientists move objects using acoustic levitation

Two new radar stations to be placed into service in Russia in 2014

Norway says working to end Russian boycott on fish exports

Melanin in marine fossils offers clues about where they could survive

For sharks, old age may be 70 or more: study

Partnership brings clean water to communities in Haiti, Peru

Ice rescue sparks Antarctic tourism debate

Antarctic mission over as ships clear ice field

Trapped ships break through Antarctic ice

US icebreaker heads to Antarctic to help stuck ships

Over 350 sick in Japan after eating pesticide-tainted food: NHK

New study may aid rearing of stink bugs for biological control

Important mutation discovered in dairy cattle

Chinese scientists create high-yield, salt-resistant rice variety

Texas to hire seismologist to study if quakes, energy production tied

Longmanshen fault zone still hazardous

Ground-breaking work sheds new light on volcanic activity

Supervolcano eruptions are triggered by melt buoyancy

Colonel Ndala: slain hope of reformed DR Congo army

A year after Mali action, France remains 'Africa's gendarme'

French defence minister sees no need for more troops in C. Africa

Fighting across South Sudan despite peace talks: army

Money Talks When Ancient Antioch Meets Google Earth

Reading a good book may make permanent changes to your brain

Finnish research team reveals how emotions are mapped in the body

What Does Compassion Sound Like?

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement