Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Defiant Philippine typhoon survivors welcome Christmas
by Staff Writers
Tacloban, Philippines (AFP) Dec 24, 2013


Philippine survivors of deadly typhoon Haiyan defiantly prepared to celebrate Christmas in their ruined communities Tuesday where hogs were being roasted, festive trees adorned streets and churches were filled to overflowing.

"Nothing can stop us from welcoming Christmas even though we have lost our home," 63-year-old butcher's wife Ellen Miano told AFP from a tiny shanty rising from a field of debris in the central city of Tacloban.

Haiyan's ferocious 315 kilometres (195 miles) an hour winds flattened the gritty Magallanes neighbourhood on Tacloban's coast, then swept up everything else with giant waves in a day of terror on November 8.

Tacloban and nearby districts accounted for more than 5,000 of the 6,000-plus confirmed deaths, with nearly 2,000 others missing, making it the country's deadliest storm and one of its worst natural disasters.

The storm made 4.4 million homeless and caused $12.9 billion in damage, according to the government, which estimates it will take the affected central region, an area the size of Portugal, four years to recover.

Miano, who lives with her husband and four young nephews and nieces in the 2x3-metre (6x10-feet) home put together from salvaged wood and sheet metal, said the family would eat a traditional Christmas dinner at midnight, with fried noodles and sliced bread given to them by a relief agency.

Their 20-year-old neighbour Ronfrey Magdua built a giant, 4-metre-tall star-shaped lantern using salvaged wood and wrapped in the Philippine flag's motif of red, white and blue, and put it up in the yard of a family that perished in the disaster.

"I made this in honour of the dead," the jobless young man told AFP, saying he spent about 2,000 pesos (45 dollars) of his own savings on the project.

Water and electricity have only been restored to a few commercial areas in Tacloban -- a once-bustling city of over 221,000.

But amid the damage, many are trying to restore normality, rebuilding their homes out of salvaged scrap or with material purchased with money provided by aid agencies.

Others huddle in white tents provided by the United Nations.

Some of the survivors have received small amounts of cash from the UN, the Philippine government and other aid groups.

The UN's World Food Programme has given out 1,300 pesos to 18,000 of the poorest families in Tacloban and nearby areas, said spokeswoman Amor Almagro.

The UN agency plans to provide $6 million to 100,000 families in the next few weeks. Other agencies are financing government schemes where people who lost their jobs are paid the minimum daily wage to clear debris from roads, Almagro told AFP.

The small dining table in the shanty of carpenter's wife and mother-of-two Jean Dotado, 31, in Palo town was laden with apples, oranges, grapes, sliced bread and peanut butter, funded by the UN cash windfall.

"These should tide us through Christmas," said Dotado, whose makeshift home, comprising roofing and wooden planks scavenged from a local school destroyed by the typhoon, also contained sardines, sacks of rice, and instant noodles regularly from aid groups.

Dotado's neighbour Shirley Dinalo, 20, said she would use the cash handout to buy medicines for her two daughters, aged two and four, who have been suffering from colds.

The family is staying with her in-laws after their own house was destroyed by storm surges. She told AFP her husband, a van driver, did not have any money and the family did not plan on doing anything special Wednesday.

"When it rains hard I lie in bed, unable to sleep, worrying that a typhoon will hit us again," she said.

Despite continuing hardship, damaged churches in Tacloban and nearby towns opened their doors early Tuesday for the last of the pre-dawn masses held in the 10 days until Christmas Eve.

"There will always be something beautiful that will come after what happened to us," Bernardo Pantin, the parish priest of Palo town adjacent to Tacloban, told around 100 parishioners at a makeshift church made from coconut lumber and blue tarpaulin.

"It (the typhoon) changed our lives, but we know that good things will follow. But of course it will take time," Pantin told AFP.

For some, though, it is hard to be optimistic.

At the Palo parish of San Joaquin, six-year-old Clifford Cobacha and his uncle Rico Cobacha, 27, attended pre-dawn mass and later lit candles in the church courtyard in front of a cluster of three small wooden crosses that marked the grave of his mother and two brothers.

More than 300 other bodies are buried in the church courtyard, marked with small wooden crosses.

"It will be difficult to celebrate Christmas after we lost 15 relatives," the elder Cobacha told AFP. Eight of them lay amongst the mass graves, with seven others, including the boy's father, still missing.

.


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
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




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





DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Disaster warning systems could prevent another Tsunami devastation event
London, UK (SPX) Dec 24, 2013
Nine years after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the deadliest natural disaster in recorded history, a new technological advance is now available, that provides early warning of natural disasters, which could save millions of lives in at risk regions. Mobile phones can now be used to alert millions of people to impending perils such as tsunamis, typhoons and earthquakes. Regrettably, fe ... read more


DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Christmas in mud as rain pelts Philippine disaster zone

Defiant Philippine typhoon survivors welcome Christmas

Iran vows to restore glory of quake-hit Bam citadel

Disaster warning systems could prevent another Tsunami devastation event

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Europe's Gaia telescope detaches from Fregat-MT upper stage

Sailing satellites into safe retirement

Researchers Design First Battery-Powered Invisibility Cloaking Device

'Macrocells' influence corrosion rate of submerged marine concrete structures

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Deepwater Horizon NRDA study shows possible oil impact on dolphins

Saving Fiji's coral reefs linked to forest conservation upstream

Drought and climate change: An uncertain future?

Saving the Great Plains water supply

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
No regrets say Greenpeace Arctic activists after UK return

5,000 polar bears expected to be born around New Year's

China icebreaker heads to science ship trapped off Antarctica

Russia closes first case against Greenpeace activists

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Extinction risk prompts ban on fishing for caviar-producing sturgeon

The fate of the eels

Genetic discovery points the way to much bigger yields in tomato, other flowering food plants

Researcher says extensive use of antibiotics in agriculture creating public health crisis

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Indonesian volcano may erupt again, keep evacuees from returning home

Volcanic formation conjoins existing Japan island

At least 44 dead in Brazil's flooding and landslides

A decade on, Iran's quake-hit Bam eyes new era

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
Outside View: Memories of Mandela's Christmas in prison

DR Congo arrests rebel leader accused of war crimes

South Sudan army advances on rebel-held town

US aircraft attacked, fighting escalates in South Sudan

DISASTER MANAGEMENT
What Does Compassion Sound Like?

Brain connections may explain why girls mature faster

Texting may be good for your health

New evidence that computers change the way we learn




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