26 December, 2.30pm – Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand
The imagination has to work overtime to imagine this place: exactly nine years ago it was swamped by a tsunami.
Phuket not only survives, but thrives with its pulsating tourist trade. While the Visayas has nowhere near the pull Phuket does, one wonders whether they can make a similar recovery from Yolanda. The signs are good.
The international community has rallied to the aid of the Yolanda’s victims, which has left a lasting impression. One of my concerns going into this project was whether I would be seen as an intrusion due to exposure fatigue. Nothing could be further from the truth. Directly after the storm, survivors had three to five days of isolation as debris cut them off from food and fresh water. Some villages existed only on dirty rice found in the rubble. The first signs of life were the…
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