Philippines typhoon: one month on

CAFOD blog

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CAFOD’s Nick Harrop has recently returned from the Philippines.

One month since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, you can see its impact from the moment you land on Leyte island. The roof of Tacloban airport has been blown off. The baggage carousel has been washed away, leaving only its ripped based underneath. The runway is covered in patches of standing water, with wood and corrugated iron swept to one side so that planes can land.

Driving south to the town of Palo is extraordinary. I can’t see a single building that hasn’t been severely damaged. Most homes have been flattened. Sometimes there are signs by the wreckage: “No trisspass!” It’s hard to see how these could be enforced. For miles, there are nothing more than twisted steel shells or haphazard piles of wood. Some buildings have been swept hundreds of metres from their original locations.

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