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Recovery is the word being used.

Byline: Sonia Sharma Reporter

ANORTH East man working in the Philippines has described the devastation caused by the typhoon.

David Errington, from Greenside, Ryton, has been working as a social auditor with Verite SEA in Manila for three months.

The 62-year-old visited Tacloban with a group of women who set up a grassroots relief movement called Kusog Tacloban. The group is providing volunteers to help survivors in remote parts of the country.

Mr Errington said: "Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, with a population of over 200,000, has been left stunned. Almost every house and building has been affected and many have simply disappeared.

"Huge swathes of the city within a kilometre of the coastline have been totally flattened in a scene eerily reminiscent of photos from Hiroshima.

In other parts of the city houses are standing but with roofs ripped off. A huge tangle of cables, debris, wrecked vehicles and fallen trees surrounds them.

"Relief is now reaching most areas but there is much still to do.

"Recovery is the word now being used. Clearing, sorting, reconstructing, grieving, drawing breath, starting again."

He met a woman named Lorna Canites, who lost her parents and her 11-year-old son Joel Joseph Aurelio in the disaster. Their home, near the sea, was swept away.

Her son lived in Tacloban with his grandparents while Lorna tried to make a living in Manila.

Mr Errington said: "Still in a state of shock, Lorna never moves far from her older sister Mayette, who is trying to hold things together for both of them. They have built a small shelter from debris covered with nylon sheets in which they have been sleeping since returning to Tacloban.

"It seems inconceivable that her only son and her parents could be alive and Lorna has not been able to find them."

He visited Tacloban to deliver medical supplies in the area and saw various organisations trying to provide aid.

International groups had set up their headquarters in tents and military personnel were unloading provisions onto trucks.


The aftermath of the Philippines >disaster, victim Lorna Canites' shelter

Lorna Canites, victim of the typhoon

David Errington
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Article Details
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 2, 2013
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