2 Months after ‘Yolanda’, Tacloban on Its Way to Recovery

Tacloban City shows signs of recovery 2 months after the utter devastation caused by Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] in November.  There are still a lot of reminders of the devastation and havoc that the typhoon brought to the area but signs of progress can also be clearly seen across the city.

Many barangays (villages) look far better than they had in the immediate aftermath of the typhoon. For example, Barangay 66A located right by the sea was utterly devastated, with waste and debris scattered all over the place.  There were very few structures undamaged or still standing. After two months, the residents had managed to clear off most of the debris.  Also, makeshift homes have sprouted all over the place and the roads are finally passable.

The Capitol area was also damaged during the typhoon, with plenty of debris and uprooted trees blocking the road; these were cleared up already and business has resumed in the offices in the building.

Tacloban’s city hall also suffered a lot of damage during the typhoon, with a large part of the roof blown off.  The grounds in front of the building had plenty of debris, a gruesome site filled with body bags; all these have been cleared off and the roof shows signs of repair two months after the typhoon struck.

In some areas of the city, many structures and homes were still standing but plenty of debris can be seen scattered around.  A lot of d**d people were found underneath those debris as the residents and workers began clearing these up. Even the river was clogged by debris for weeks. Towards the end of 2013, most of the debris has already been cleared and some greenery can be seen sprouting in vacant areas across the city.

The sea which had looked dark and gloomy immediately after the floods because of the contaminated water from the river now looks clearer and blue, clearly showing that even nature is on its way to recovery. In the weeks that followed the typhoon, some d**d bodies could be seen floating on the waters. Two months after the tragedy hit the city, no longer are scores of d**d bodies seen floating at the sea.

On the other hand, the downtown area still shows a lot of damage but many of the roofs had temporary covers and the streets have been cleared of debris. Many establishments were, at first, reluctant to re-open their business or had no more stocks left to sell. Today, the downtown area already sees a lot of shoppers in the stores, especially now that a number of residents became beneficiaries of the cash-for-work program by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center and its neighboring barangays experienced heavy damage during the typhoon.  A lot of debris and damaged homes clutter the neighborhood while the hospital compound was left with skeleton buildings, torn off roofs, and plenty of debris.  Today, a temporary roof was placed over one of the smaller buildings and the debris cleared but the skeleton building is still left untouched.

The market had also been badly battered by the storm but colorful stalls can now be seen lining the docks and the streets.

In the wake of the typhoon, there were 4 large ships which were brought inland by the storm surge.  Two months after the disaster, these ships were still marooned but neighborhoods had begun rebuilding around them.

The upper portion shows the “Before” photo of the market while the lower portion shows the “After” photo. Photo credit: InterAksyon.
The upper portion shows the “Before” photo of the market while the lower portion shows the “After” photo.
Photo credit: InterAksyon.

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