Tacloban: Two Months after Typhoon Yolanda

Reportage by Roland Nagy

On Nov. 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (International name: Typhoon Haiyan) hit the Philippines recorded as the most powerful tropical cyclone and deadliest typhoon.  It had winds in excess of 185km/h which caused major damage and loss of life mainly due to storm surge. It left a path of destruction and fatalities through most of the provinces in Visayas.

According to the National Risk Reduction and Management Council, to date there are 6,201 dead, 28,626 injured and 1,785 missing across the 9 Regions in the Philippines. With 11 million people affected by the damage and 4 million people displaced, the estimated cost of damages totaled almost P37 trillion to infrastructure and agriculture.

As the news drew extensive international news coverage, it gave way to huge relief efforts both local and international.  The international aid pledges alone now amounts to USD 573 billion according to Foreign Aid Transparency Hub (FAiTH) from different countries and international organizations.  The disaster brought in thousands of local volunteers and monetary pledges as well.

The major focus of devastation has been on  Tacloban City located on the east coast of Samar and Leyte because of its location and the large population in low lying areas. The storm surge in Tacloban had been as high as 4.5 meters and caused flooding extending to 1 kilometer inland on the east coast. Almost 90 percent of all structures were either destroyed or damaged. Death toll in Tacloban alone reached around 2,000 persons.

Two months after the typhoon hit Tacloban, the images show the scenes of survivors and landscapes of this once bustling city.


Rayneil Caminong (27), a civil engineer on his regular morning run along Maharlika Highway in Tacloban. January 06, 2014 Tacloban, Philippines.

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Devastation scene in Barangay 56-A Tacloban January 6, 2014

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Girby (8) and Alvin (10), friends had evacuated to  higher grounds from Barangay Anibong, one of the most destroyed areas by storm surge in Tacloban. January 5, 2014

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Barangay Anibong was almost completely destroyed during the typhoon. Six container ships have been swept to shore which are still seen waiting to be removed from the ground. Meanwhile local people started to rebuild their homes from materials found among the debris.  January 6, 2014

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Judel Suberon (23),  a licensed security guard works for  M/V Gayle, a cargo ship carrying 25,000 bags of cement waiting to be removed from the land back to sea. January 5, 2014. Barangay Anibong, Tacloban.

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A crew member sleeps inside M/V Eva Jocelyn, cargo ship washed ashore and currently sitting next to the road in Barangay Anibong. January 6, 2014

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Ranie Bacaltos (50), a quartermaster seen inside M/V  Eva Jocelyn, another cargo ship washed ashore. The ship’s loads of 4,000 bags of cement were ruined during the storm. However, the ship itself was not damaged and is awaiting to be moved back to sea in a few weeks.  January 6, 2014

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The church entry way bears announcements of missing relatives and purple ribbons in memory of the dead. Around 4,000 dead people had been buried unidentified.  Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Palo, Tacloban. January 5, 2014

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Religious relics are safely placed at the back of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord in Palo. with a statue of San Lorenzo Luiz, a Filipino saint on the left.  January 6, 2014

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Myeong Gwang Jang (24) is a staff sergeant in the 500-member South Korean military contingent taking part in the rehabilitation. A number of them are currently working to rebuild Leyte Provincial Hospital.
`Our main purpose is in rebuilding, rehabilitating and providing medical service’.   January 7, 2014

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The Leyte Landing Memorial in Red Beach, Palo, Leyte.  January 5, 2014

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Imelda M. Gayas is the school principal of San Fernando Central School, one of the badly damaged school in Tacloban as it is located only 100 meters from the shore. As fourteen of its classrooms collapsed, around 1,200 students were displaced. The school is currently operating in temporary tents donated by Unicef and the American Red Cross. January 6, 2014. Tacloban

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Sixth grade of San Fernando Central School are in a newly built classroom  by a charity foundation of ABS-CBN, a Filipino TV channel. ABS-CBN Foundation built four classrooms and provided school supplies, uniforms, and books.

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Inside a classroom of San Fernando Central School January 6, 2014.

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Lesley (23), a member of Batang Samar Leyte (BSL), a local gang has all of his belongings swept away during the typhoon. Anibong, Tacloban. January 5, 2014.

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Survivors often set up small shops called sari-sari stores. Anibong, Tacloban. January 6, 2014.

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Junel (21), Mark (19), Arnold (44), Jeron (21), (left to right) and Rolando (19), (front) work in a mass grave site  located in the Holy Cross Memorial Garden, Barangay Diit. One hundered forty six identified bodies are buried in this site. January 6. 2014.

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The locals were deployed by the United Nations Development Programme as part of the cash-for-work scheme. More than 200 of them are paid 260 pesos (5.8USD) daily to manually clear targeted zones of the worst affected communities.  January 6, 2014.

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Wenna (18), and Laarmi (21), cousins are taking part in the clearing operation as part the cash-for-work scheme of United Nations Development Programme.They being paid 260PHP (5.8USD) per day.   January 6, 2014.

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Leyte Provincial Hospital.  January 7 2014

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Teresa Balano (34) currently lives at her aunt’s one-bedroom house with her husband, three children, mother and three siblings . As a high school teacher, she earns 18,000PHP(398 USD) per month, a meager salary that will take her years to save and buy or build a suitable home for her family without outside help. She is seen here at Leyte Provincial Hospital with her third child, Renz Genesis (9 days) after a medical check up. San Miguel,Tanauan, Leyte. January 7, 2014.

About the author:
I was born and grew up in Hungary. In 2012, I moved to Manila, Philippines. My fascination with the life of the Filipinos gave me the intense drive to start my own photo documentary projects. It was here that I learned of different religious events, festivals and micro-communities that are unique to the country. In my photography, I like getting up close and involved in the events going around  me. My aim is to discover cultural differences and to show social issues through my  photography.

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