FILIPINO communities devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan last
year are cautiously hoping that they have successfully weathered
the most recent storm, Hagupit, which hit the Philippines on
About 21 people are thought to have died in the typhoon, but
hundreds of thousands were evacuated from coastal areas in advance
of the storm's making landfall. None the less, Typhoon Hagupit
destroyed thousands of homes and tore down power lines, sometimes
in areas still struggling to rebuild after Super Typhoon Haiyan
Cecil Laguardia, a communications manager with World Vision, in
Tacloban, which bore the brunt of Haiyan last year, said that the
immediate needs for survivors were food, water, and materials for
making shelters, such as tarpaulins and nails.
World Vision had already distributed aid to 500 families in
Tacloban, Ms Laguardia said, but more assessments were taking place
all the time. "It was not as big as Haiyan, but the trauma among
the people is still raw - it made them relive the terrors of
Haiyan," she said.
"The people learned their lesson well this time. They went to
the camps early after the government issued a warning, and co-
operated well. In Tacloban, they were quite organised and prepared,
bringing their own food and not waiting to be reminded again."
A senior emergency officer for CAFOD, Joseph Chacko, said that
churches were playing a central part in helping people after the
storm. "In areas where Haiyan hit last year, we have aid stocks
ready. The aid stocks are made up of dry food to last around two
days, bottled water, plastic sheeting, and blankets. It is basic,
but in the first 48 hours after the storm, it's vital for people's
Even though Typhoon Hagupit was weaker than Haiyan, Ms Laguardia
said that some Filipinos were still struggling to cope. "I met Joy
Manado, aged 47, a mother of one, when we visited one evacuation
camp a day before Hagupit landed in Tacloban. "She felt traumatised
that another typhoon as strong is coming. As early as two days
before the typhoon was expected to hit the city, Joy already
brought her son to the camp for safety. She said she is no longer
taking chances. It was a heartbreaking conversation."
Mrs Manado's husband is a fisherman; so the high tides left
behind by Hagupit have also robbed the family of their income, as
he cannot go out to sea yet.
The storm will also set back efforts to recover from Super
Typhoon Haiyan, Ms Laguardia said. Some of the projects set up to
create jobs and livelihoods for Haiyan survivors were destroyed by
Hagupit, and it will take time before they can be restarted.
Furthermore, Tacloban is still without power more than a week after
the storm, which is making moving around the city at night very
"I cannot even begin to imagine how it felt for these survivors,
going from one super typhoon to another," Ms Laguardia said. "But
the Filipinos' positive spirit and resilience keep them going. One
woman said that, despite losing everything and anticipating a very
sad Christmas, she is still thankful that all of her family are