Typhoon Haiyan Survivor Tells Story of Disaster

Destruction and debris clog streets and rob children of places to play in Basey

 FH is helping by distributing food and water to survivors. Plans are being assessed for continuing support for the people of Basay. Here is Aileen’s account of what happened during the typhoon and what she and her family now face.

The day Typhoon Haiyan started was exactly 5:30 a.m. The wind was really strong…even the building looked like maybe it will fly. At that time, we (me and my father and my husband) were the only ones in this house. They had already evacuated to the barangay hall (community center).

It was like an earthquake, our house was shaking. I was just praying. My father, he cannot move.  He wanted to go to the kitchen, to take some clothes out of the cupboard, but it was already full of water because our roof was broken.

Aileen and her mother Alicia

Aileen Amante (left) and her mother Alicia Amante

The tidal wave started at maybe 6:30 a.m., and when it started, we ran to the barangay hall.  At barangay hall, I keep on telling my father to just keep holding on, and my husband says keep on praying. (Aileen and her family held onto rebar sticking out of the top of the barangay hall building to keep from blowing away).

The water was 21 feet high…We thought it was the end of the world. It was the very first time we experienced it. Then the water begins moving out. We saw our houses like this. This one was full of garbage.

We lost our home and our dog, Yukie.  We’re crying, because we love him so much. We know a lot of people who died in our barangay.

My mother said that her dream is just simple now. We dreamed before of having a nice house like the people that are rich. She only wants this house to have a roof, so that we can sleep here again.

I think my world is not the same. For me, the world is broken. Nobody can go to school right now. We cannot go to work. My plan only is to go (overseas)…because nothing happened to my passport. I think it’s one way of our God, because I think for my family, I am their hope. I am the only one who can help them rebuild this house again, if I can work again in another country.

You can bring hope and healing to people like Aileen and her community by partnering with FH to help these survivors rebuild their lives.

About Renee Targos

Renee is a former journalist and editor for national arts and business publications. As a writer for Food for the Hungry, Renee explores and reports on the work and relationships of partners, FH staff and impoverished communities.

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