Sunday 9 November 2014

Typhoon Haiyan: 1 Year On: 205,000 Families still without Homes

Families are still staying in a tent city that was set up for survivors of the typhoon in Tacloban, which was largely destroyed in November last year. Some 6,300 people died across central Philippines as Super Typhoon Haiyan whipped up the strongest winds ever recorded on land and generated tsunami-like storm surges more than two-storeys high. -- PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 
In a briefing paper, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Rehabilitation and Recovery defended the pace of reconstruction in the Philippines, saying it has, in fact, been faster than in Banda Aceh in Indonesia, after it was hit by a tsunami in 2004.It said it took two years before Banda Aceh could transition from relief to reconstruction. Most of the rebuilding so far is being done by international aid groups and private foundations, including the Singapore Red Cross, which has raised $12.26 million to fund 87 programmes for some 1.5 million people. Today, Tacloban will mark a year since Haiyan struck with a "candlelight memorial".Thousands are expected to light 24,000 candles along a 24km stretch from the city airport to a memorial park where more than 2,000 of those who died in the city last year were buried.
The powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has declared today a "national day of prayer", instructing all Catholic churches in the archipelago to simultaneously ring their bells at 6pm. A "climate change envoy", meanwhile, will end his one- month, 1,000km march from Manila in Tacloban. Mr Naderev Sano, the Philippine representative to the United Nations' climate change negotiations, and 12 others have been travelling an average of 25km a day since leaving Manila. He made world headlines last year when he fasted during the annual summit in Poland to protest against the lack of meaningful progress on global warming.