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PHOTOBLOG: Typhoon survivors in Philippines face uphill battle to rebuild their lives

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:49 GMT
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Typhoon Bopha was the 16th and most powerful storm to hit disaster-prone Philippines in 2012. In the early hours of Dec. 4, it struck the southern Philippines island of Mindanao, flooding farming and mining towns and burying people in mudslides. 

More than 1,800 people are dead or missing and over 210,000 houses were damaged. It destroyed tens of thousands of hectares of banana and coconut fields, decimating rural livelihoods. 

Seven weeks after the storm, AlertNet visited the area to talk to survivors about how they were coping. Every typhoon survivor we spoke to, including octogenarians, were bewildered by the intensity of the storm. “We’ve never experienced such a storm before,” they said.

The remains of homes are seen in Barangay Mainit in Cateel municipality, Davao Oriental province. Most of the houses in the neighborhood were totally or partially destroyed and many people lost their livelihoods. Bad weather has exacerbated the situation, hampering aid agencies' efforts to deliver relief, worsening families’ living conditions and putting their health at risk.

Villagers collect water from a distribution point set up by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippines Red Cross in Cateel municipality, Davao Oriental province. Safe drinking water remains a major concern seven weeks after Typhoon Bopha hit the southern Philippines island of Mindanao.

Floodwaters rise around a house in Cateel municipality in Davao Oriental province. After almost 48 hours of heavy rains and strong winds, homes near the Cateel river were flooded again and many were forced to evacuate for a second time. Residents say deforestation and climate change contributed to the storm’s impact. 

Typhoon survivors work in the pouring rain to rebuild their homes that were destroyed by Bopha, in Cateel municipality, Davao Oriental province. 

Tents provide shelter for the residents of the village of Ban-ao in Baganga municipality, Davao Oriental province, after Typhoon Bopha destroyed most of the houses in the village. 

Villagers look at a stream that has burst its banks in the village of Andap in New Bataan municipality, Compostela Valley province. Heavy rains the night before caused flooding in the area. The road turned into a raging torrent of water filled with debris, which then joined with another stream about 100 metres down the road. Concerned villagers blocked off the roads so people wouldn’t attempt to cross the stream but this meant those on the other side of the stream were completely cut off. 

A villager attempts to walk through the floodwaters in Davao del Norte province in eastern Mindanao. Even though the province was not as affected by Typhoon Bopha as other areas, days of continuous rain resulted in heavy flooding, cutting off power and closing schools. Houses and paddy fields were submerged and around 39,000 people were displaced.  

A group of villagers take refuge in a tarpaulin-covered shelter as floods hit Davao del Norte province in eastern Mindanao. Even though the province was not as affected by Typhoon Bopha as other areas, days of continuous rain resulted in heavy flooding, cutting off power and closing schools. Houses and paddy fields were submerged and around 39,000 people were displaced. 

Young men run along the flooded highway in Davao del Norte province in eastern Mindanao, which was barely passable for light vehicles. Days of continuous rain resulted in heavy flooding, cutting off power and closing schools. Houses and paddy fields were submerged and around 39,000 people were displaced. 

All pictures taken by Thin Lei WIn between January 19 and 22, 2013.


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