Philippine Typhoon Survivors Ask: ‘Where is our Government?’

Resident of eastern Samar have set up temporary shelters after the storm. Image from Plan Philippines

Resident of eastern Samar have set up temporary shelters after the storm. Image from Plan Philippines

Also see Haiyan Devastates the Philippines, our special coverage page.

Six days have passed since super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) hit the central part of the Philippines but relief is not yet given to many survivors. Many dead bodies are still lying in the streets, refugees are begging for food, and rescue efforts are not reaching other remote islands of typhoon-ravaged provinces in the Visayas.

Haiyan caused a tsunami-like storm surge which killed thousands in an instant. The provinces of Leyte and Samar are among the most badly-hit areas with many villages reduced into wasteland. According to the latest official report, more than 2,000 have died but the casualties could be higher because many dead bodies have yet to be retrieved.

The frustration about the seemingly slow response of the government is reflected on social media:

Aid is pouring in from all over the world but there is no system for the effective distribution of these resources:

While Tacloban is considered the ‘ground zero’ of the disaster, other islands have been devastated as well and the situation there has not been adequately reported. Ayi Hernandez visited Capiz province and shares his observations:

Houses made of light materials was either flattened on the ground or was heavily damaged. Houses made of concrete materials survived the force but lost their rooof partially or totally. The damages were a bit distrubing when we entered the municipality of Ivisan.

Some families were setting up tents in the highway and maybe because most of the houses were made of light materials, the sight was heartbreaking.

With this kind of destruction, what kept us surprised was the seemingly absence of relief operation in those municipalities. There is no help flowing in.

Below are some photos in Samar, the province which was first hit by typhoon Haiyan:

Filipinos are grateful for the support given by many countries.

Image from Facebook of Jeffrey Cruz

Image from Facebook of Jeffrey Cruz

Ruffy Biazon, a government official, writes what he thinks should be done soon:

While the relief operations are ongoing and everyone is pitching in to lend a helping hand, there should be someone stepping back, taking a look at what has happened and study what went wrong, what should have been done and what to do to prevent the preventable, prepare for the inevitable and provide resources for the doable.

This should be done at the national level and most importantly, at the local level


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