Philippines painfully slow to repair after killer storm Haiyan

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Philippines painfully slow to repair after killer storm Haiyan

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Resilience is pushed to the limit in Tacloban, one year after Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record. The archipelago of more than 7,000 islands is still struggling to rebuild. In the port city there are 25,000 people still living in transitional housing.

The government promised to provide 14,500 new houses, but the mayor says it has delivered only 100.

Lita Paa, whose family are waiting, said: “They told us all of us living in tents would get one; the biggest question is when?”

Tacloban suffered the full force of the typhoon. Wind was measured at more than 300 kilometres per hour, waves at seven metres. The surge over land on November 8th caused some 7,000 deaths. Only ten percent of Tacloban was relatively undamaged.

The government has only just approved a six-year, three billion euro reconstruction plan. It has talked about houses that can stand wind at 250 kilometres per hour. For the moment, makeshift is the norm.

Volunteer with the charity Allhands Clifford Sims said: “Bunkhouse shelters should be for a couple of months. I think three to six months was the target for the ones built near San Jose, and then be scrapped. I think we’re into month 11 now and they’re still there. There’s still a need to provide temporary shelters and there’s definitely a need to provide permanent shelters.”

In the meantime, caves are used.

There are also roads, schools, port facilities and crucial coconut plantations to be revived, to repair the economy.

The city is almost completely dependent on outside help, and extremely vulnerable to more storms.