Sunday, January 26, 2014

PHILIPPINES TYPHOON HAIYAN: A Northern Cebu Couple's Story of Survival

The northern tip of the island of Cebu was right on the path of super typhoon Haiyan and the place was badly hit. The ravaged areas include Bogo and surroundings, the islands of Bantayan and Malapasqua. Daanbantayan, which is part of the mainland of Cebu was battered. Fortunately there was no storm-surge and people did not drown.

The people of the area were also grateful that the super typhoon hit during the daytime, not at night, because the corrugated roofing sheets and other debris whipped about dangerously.

Jocelle and Dylan Del Rosario, residents of Daanbantayan and who are related to my friends, Lyn and Lautrec Ocampo, told us what happened on Friday, November 8, 2013,when Haiyan made landfall on Daanbantayan.

Warnings had been announced days in advance and they had bought non-perishable food, bottled water, transistor radio, lantern, and other essentials. Jocelle added that people from Cebu heeded the warnings because they still remembered the first-ever super storm, Ruping or Mike that hit Cebu in 1990. Likewise the people in Ormoc also remembered the1991 typhoon Uring or Thelma that claimed over 7,000 lives.

On Friday morning, at around 7 a.m,, the Del Rosarios felt the signs of the approaching storm -- strong winds and rain which picked up speed. By around 10 a.m. the storm was at its peak. They described what looked like smoke or steam outside, very thick so there was zero visibility. Jocelle also described a strange light when the eye of the storm passed. There were terrible sounds, like shrieking and horses running on their roof, and they could see their roof straining and moving as if it would fly off.

To protect themselves, they hid under the sink (next to the refrigerator) and held planks of wood in front of their faces and bodies.

The horror went on for two hours before the storm abated.

When they felt safe enough to leave their hiding place, they looked outside to discover that most of their neighbors' houses were flattened or damaged. Their neighbors survived but some carabaos (water buffaloes) that had been tethered to coconut trees died when trees fell on them. The trees that remained standing were stripped off their leaves.

The surrounding debris was so thick that roads were impassable. Their washing machine outside was dragged 360 degrees around their yard. Patio furniture was scattered every which way; a basin ended up in a distant field.

Jocelle and Dylan provided shelter to four families in their home. They had to wait several days before help came because the roads had to be cleared.

They had some damage to their house, which they've repaired, but some of their neighbors still have to fix their homes.

Daanbantayan suffered a lot of destruction as you can see from the following pictures. The saddest sight was a community right next to the sea that was flattened. Despite the blight, the children carried on playing and the young men played basketball. The older ones looked more somber.

The other pictures include a fishery, where Jocelle Del Rosario works (she holds a doctoral degree  in development education by the way). There is also an interesting sign about a resettlement project co-sponsored by a French coglomerate.

Tomorrow, I'll blog about Father Romeo Desuyo, parish priest of Odlot, near Bogo, Northern Cebu. So stay tuned, dear Readers.

The top pictures shows Jocelle and Dylan Del Rosario; the group of three show Jocelle, Lyn and Lautrec Ocampo

Read also
The Anderson Cooper, Korina Sanchez, President Aquino Debacle

tags: super typhoon, supertyphoon, Haiyan, Yolanda, Philippines, Cebu, Northern Cebu, Central Philippines, Bogo, Daanbantayan, storm, update

This is all for now,

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