In Tacloban, the city in the Philippines that just under two weeks ago received the strongest hammering from Typhoon Haiyan, many former residents have left. Haunting ‘help’ signs remain. In the splintered mess, those who can’t leave must wait.
The United Nations has confirmed that at least 4,500 people were killed; many are missing, and the estimate of the number made homeless is two million. Survivors will depend on international aid for months to come.
In Tacloban alone, some 56,000 are without proper sanitation for water and waste. Those with the strength and initiative are already rebuilding.
Not wanting to stay in a tent, one survivor said: “We are building a temporary shelter. The people inside the [modern concrete] convention centre were asked to vacate so the authorities could clean up. Our house was washed away by the storm surge waves.”
Tacloban was home to 220,000 people. Experts warn that the sooner locals are informed by planners of rehousing possibilities the better