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At a glance: Philippines

In the Philippines, trying to move on after a typhoon's devastation

TACLOBAN, Philippines, 7 May 2014 – Six months after Typhoon Haiyan claimed thousands of lives and left a path of destruction, survivors talk about their experiences, the daily challenges of recovery, and their hopes for the future.

Still no place to go

Richelle Alcaraz, 25, a single mother of five, lives in a shack along a coastal area where several large ships are still stranded on dry land. “The typhoon was the most terrifying thing I’ve experienced in my whole life. I was determined to get my children out of the house where we were trapped as the water was rapidly rising,” she says. “The only thing I really want is a safe place where we can be relocated, and for my children to continue their studies.


Loss and hope 

Zoren Nabora, 16, lost his brother when Typhoon Haiyan struck. He now lives in a temporary camp built on the site of an old motorcycle track. A sign at the entrance says 2,129 people, about half of them young people and children, are living there. Zoren wants to continue his studies, but getting to school from the camp isn’t easy. “I have to spend 40 pesos every day. Sometimes we don’t have money, so I can’t get to school.”


Changed lives 

Sharlotte Agote, 15, recalls the moments when her family escaped the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan. They’ve built a new home on the site where their house was destroyed by the typhoon, but she says their life is more difficult now because they have no water or electricity. “We have to go buy water. We all live here: me, my father and my six other siblings. We sleep in one room while our youngest baby stays in another room,” she says.

Getting by 

Rhea Milado, 24, received a UNICEF cash grant that helps vulnerable women like her rebuild their lives, by giving her a monthly stipend for six months. She and her husband built a small house on the site of their previous house, but Rhea doesn’t feel safe and hopes to move. “When I think about the future, I see my husband getting his livelihood back. And I see my daughter going back to school. I also hope that I will safely deliver a healthy baby,” she says.



UNICEF Photography: Typhoon Haiyan


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