Yolanda damaged 90% of school infra in Tacloban – Luistro

Jee Y. Geronimo

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As of Friday noon, DepEd has already reached most school divisions affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) except the one in Eastern Samar

STILL STANDING. This microphone stand survives the wrath of Super Typhoon Yolanda. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday, November 15, estimated 90% of school infrastructures in Tacloban City were damaged by Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

Education Secretary Armin Luistro said in a presser it will take a full week before the department releases a comprehensive assessment of school damages.

“We’re doing this by division. Obviously the area with the most damage is [the] Tacloban City division. In the other areas, the damage is either minimal or will not reach 50%,” he added.

The estimates were based on initial reports from teachers and facilities coordinators, since the department is having difficulty accessing engineers who can determine the extent of damage.

Assistant Secretary Rey Laguda, who went to Tacloban City with the department’s disaster risk and reduction management team earlier this week, saw for himself how damaged schools were in the area. (READ: Back to basics: Leaving notes, finding people)

“Our regional office in Region VIII, division offices in Tacloban, Leyte division, and even our Ormoc division are damaged. I saw several of our schools almost totally damaged,” he told Rappler on Thursday, November 14.

Schools were no exception to the strength of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which made six landfalls on November 8 and brought with it storm surges that killed thousands.

The full report due Friday, November 22, will be the basis of the department’s budget and rehabilitation plan. Part of the plan is to provide makeshift learning spaces in schools determined to be safe.

As of Friday noon, the department has already made contact with most school divisions in affected areas, with only the Eastern Samar division still unreachable.

DepEd earlier cannot establish “reliable communication lines” with the division of Eastern Samar and six others, while the offices in Ormoc City and Western Samar remained closed. (READ: Most school divisions in Eastern Visayas closed, unreachable)

Luistro instructed officials in divisions which have resumed and will soon resume operations to contact schools so classes can begin “as soon as feasible.” – Rappler.com

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Jee Y. Geronimo

Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.