Yolanda survivors in danger zones: What about us?

Yolanda survivors in danger zones: What about us?
Around 14,100 Haiyan survivors remain in danger zones in Tacloban City alone

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – A year after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), around 14,100 typhoon survivors remain in danger zones in Tacloban City alone. Many of them complain the government has forgotten them. Paterno Esmaquel reports.

In a village by the sea in Tacloban City, grounded ships serve as a warning.

Dumped on the shore by waves triggered by Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, these vessels mark Anibong as a danger zone. Still, thousands continue to live in areas like these.

LOPE LABRO, TACLOBAN RESIDENT: Walang choice. Kung ire-relocate kami ora mismo, kung magiging komportable naman kami doon. Pero kasi binabalita sa TV na malaki pa raw ‘yung kulang doon. Walang CR pa daw. ‘Yung nababalita namin, parang nawawalan na kami ng gana doon. (We have no choice. If we’ll be relocated as soon as possible, I hope we’ll be comfortable there. But TV reports say theses houses still lack a lot. There’s no CR, for one. Based on the news we get, we’re losing interest in it.)

Like Labro, around 3,000 families, or 14,100 Yolanda survivors, live in danger zones.

The sea behind me killed thousands here in Tacloban City. Now to survive, thousands choose to live in danger zones in Tacloban alone. Once a cause of death, now another disaster waiting to happen.

Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez says his city doesn’t have enough relocation sites. Romualdez says he will prioritize Tacloban residents still living in tents, before those in danger zones. He says those in danger zones, after all, have houses to keep them safe.

ALFRED ROMUALDEZ, TACLOBAN CITY MAYOR: Kasi ang tent ‘pag sinabi mong signal number one, liliparin na ang tent. Ulan nga lang binabaha na ang tent eh. (Because for tents, when it’s storm signal number one, tents can be blown by the wind. Tents can even be flooded when it rains.)

While waiting for relocation that’s still up in the air, residents in Anibong complain about other things. They say the social welfare department stopped giving them relief goods, unlike those in bunkhouses.

ELMA DELINGOL, TACLOBAN RESIDENT: Unfair. Hindi pareho ang pamimigay sa gobyerno dito sa Leyte. Dapat priority sana itong mga nakatira sa no-build zone. Bakit hindi nila kami dito binibigyan? Doon lang palagi. (Unfair. The government in Leyte isn’t fair in distribution. They should be prioritizing those in no-build zones. Why don’t they give us aid? They’re prioritizing others.)

RICHELLE ALCARAZ, TACLOBAN RESIDENT: Bakit kami, hindi ba kami dumaan sa bagyo na hindi nila kami suportahan ng pagkain? Tapos ‘yung bunkhouse punong puno na ng pagkain. Pinamementa na lang dito sa barangay namin. (Why, didn’t we go through the storm, that they don’t support us with food? Then those in bunkhouses overflow with food. They end up selling the food in our village.)

At night, the air is filled with more uncertainty. They complain there’s no electricity. A year after Yolanda, they also fear the days ahead, and hope another disaster won’t swallow their village again.
Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler, Tacloban City – Rappler.com


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