Mon, Dec 09, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Philippines rebuilding after Haiyan

AP, TACLOBAN, Philippines

The storm led to a breakdown in government services and there were scenes of chaos as hungry survivors broke into shops, homes and gasoline stations.

Lim said 19 of the 26 government agencies in the city were now operating and about 15 percent of the city has electricity.

“Psychologically, there is a sense of normalcy,” he said.

Thousands are already beginning to rebuild in areas that might well be designated not safe for human habitation.

Priscila Villarmenta was cradling a granddaughter while male relatives were fixing metal sheets and plywood to her destroyed home, which was torn apart by one of four cargo ships that were swept into her neighborhood by a tsunami-like storm surge triggered by the storm.

“We are again starting our livelihood and building our house,” she said.

Rebuilding after the typhoon is colossal work for an impoverished country that is still recovering from a recent earthquake that hit a nearby island and a Muslim rebel attack that razed houses in clashes in September in the south. Haiyan destroyed or damaged more than 1 million homes.

At Tacloban’s San Jose Central School, Roberto Fabi has been stuck with his family and 25 other displaced residents in an overcrowded room since they fled there as the typhoon roared and swept away their coastal home and everything in it.

“Nothing was left, not even a tiny thing,” Fabi said.

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