Saturday, November 7, 2015

Tacloban: Scars and Life After Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

It was hard, I was told, though the world saw it all on the news. A recounting of the sad tale had opened old scars, the city bracing itself for the tempest: strong winds were relentless, a gush of water rose 7 meters high -- choking the city in seconds -- roofs blown off houses -- a rickety collection of thatch or aluminum, coconut wood, and plywood -- glass windows broken to pieces, trees pruned to their bareness and chopped off, huge ships dashed to the ground. Thousands of lives had drowned.

Survivors were met with a faint light. They were lost. They didn’t know how to fix their own piece of earth. They cried out in pain over the nothingness they were left with. Families were intact, reduced to two or one, or all swept off to the ocean. They grieved.

Swarms of flies feasted on what seemed to be cold wastebasket reeking of spoiled lifelessness, including of dead dogs. No potable water, no electricity. No food, and found it in malls or the nearest stores by breaking in. Desperation. It was a city in anarchy.

That day, November 8, 2013, Tacloban had turned into a war-torn landscape, with survivors feeling a dull to grave ache from the havoc wreaked by super typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda). And the world had sympathized and was quick to aid. The city had found hope.

The city is scarred. But life goes on -- thanking life and god, laying their hands on what remains, and asking for help, still up to this day.


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