The trees outside the Santa Fe Municipal Hall used to reach about seventy metres high and were covered in green foliage. Now they are barren sticks jutting out of the earth like elderly sentries, marking the entrance to what is now a disaster relief command centre. One month ago Typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, ripped up trees by the roots on this island and left those still standing largely denuded.
The powerful winds also brought down power lines and mobile phone masts. Thousands of homes were destroyed or badly damaged – metal roofs torn back like the top of a can of sardines.
The mayor of Santa Fe, Jose Esgana, said it was as if Bantayan had been set back thirty years in a matter of minutes. But he is determined to restore the island as fast as possible.
‘I will not give up’
‘I will not give…
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