News / Asia

Typhoon-Stricken Central Philippines in 'Early Recovery' Phase

Typhoon survivors and volunteers begin a massive clean up in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines, Nov. 25, 2013.
Typhoon survivors and volunteers begin a massive clean up in typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city, Leyte province in central Philippines, Nov. 25, 2013.
Simone Orendain
As Philippines authorities continue to transition to the needs of long-term recovery of typhoon devastated areas, authorities are building temporary housing, expanding "cash for work" and "food for work" programs to clear debris, and looking at long-term measures like planting mangroves along vulnerable coastlines.

Officials say the worst-hit provinces of Leyte and Samar are showing signs of recovery. They note that banks are reopening, small markets are in business and in some places more than three quarters of the debris that clogged the streets has been removed. This has opened up roads to transportation services.


But Super Typhoon Haiyan obliterated and destroyed more than a million houses.

Presidential spokesman Sonny Coloma said providing housing is a priority.

“The transfer of affected families from tents and evacuation centers to temporary bunkhouses signals the transition from relief to early recovery and reconstruction,” Coloma said.

The Office of Civil Defense says 116 “bunkhouses” are in place in the hardest hit city of Tacloban in Leyte and five other nearby municipalities. These structures accommodate 24 families of five. And each building has a central kitchen and common restrooms with a medical facility on one end.

The government and several humanitarian agencies have implemented “cash for work” programs, which pay displaced residents a day rate to clear debris. Survivors are also working for food.

Civil Defense Executive Director Eduardo del Rosario said provincial governments are planning to invest in agriculture to help displaced residents become less dependent on relief operations. He said food aid will continue for as long as it is needed, adding that this will “interlock” with early recovery and early rehabilitation work.

“Our intention is to attain normalcy as early as possible. We could not say that it is 100 percent normal,” del Rosario said.

Philippine officials estimate the cost of rebuilding at $5.8 billion.

  • Typhoon Haiyan survivors wait for their evacuation flights at the airport in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 21, 2013.
  • A typhoon survivor sits beside the body bag containing his child in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • A Philippine Air Force crew looks out from his helicopter as Typhoon Haiyan-ravaged city of Tacloban is seen in the background, during a flight to deliver relief goods, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • The brakelight of a delivery truck lights up a boy's face as survivors struggle to be the first in line during the distribution of relief goods in typhoon-hit Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • Firemen unload Typhoon Haiyan victims in body bags from a truck on the roadside until forensic experts can register and bury them in a mass grave outside of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 19, 2013.
  • A Typhoon Haiyan survivor carries a bag of his recovered belongings in the ruins of his rural neighborhood on the outskirts of Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • A man uses a shovel to clean up mud inside St. Joseph Parish church, which was badly damaged by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013.
  • Typhoon Haiyan survivors walk along a road in the destroyed port in the town of Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • A young boy, a survivor of Typhoon Haiyan covers his ears as military C-130 aircraft land at the airport in Tacloban, central Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan shade themselves from the rising sun after spending the night on the tarmac in the airport in Tacloban, where they wait to be evacuated, Nov. 15, 2013.
  • Toppled coconut trees dot a mountain in an area devastated by typhoon Haiyan in Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013.

According to the Civil Defense office, 3.4 million people remain displaced more than two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan struck. The United Nations says it affected more than 13 million people.

The U.N. says not everyone has access to markets to replenish food stocks in the long-term. The agency also says supplies of emergency shelter provisions are running low and groups that had provided them initially are close to exhausting their funding to buy more.

Del Rosario said the government is requiring a 40 meter easement from the Tacloban coastline where squatters made their homes. The typhoon churned up a massive storm surge along the coast that killed scores of people in its wake.

“It will be planted with mangroves because per a study conducted, mangroves can decrease by 70 percent, [the] strength [of a] storm surge,” he explained.

Del Rosario said, while the government expects to see some of the foreign militaries that initially responded start to leave after 15-day relief stints, others continue to arrive. He said these later arrivals are focusing on medical relief and engineering help for rebuilding.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid