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Typhoon-hit Tacloban recovers but challenges still ahead

English.news.cn   2014-03-08 16:46:36

By Alito L. Malinao

MANILA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Exactly four months after super- typhoon Haiyan (locally named Yolanda) struck central Philippines on Nov. 8 last year, Tacloban City in the island province of Leyte, which was the worst-hit, is slowly inching toward normalcy.

Packing winds of more than 300 kilometers an hour, Haiyan was the world's strongest typhoon to make a landfall in historic record.

In Tacloban City, it was accompanied by a tsunami-like storm surge that flattened vast swathe of the city of some 250,000 people, killing and displacing thousands of residents.

Today, traffic is now back to normal in the streets of Tacloban; most of the shops, banks and gas stations are open while in the markets, vendors are now selling vegetables, fish, poultry and other agricultural products.

But some parts of the city are still in a mess. Tacloban's most pressing need is temporary or permanent shelter for 50,000 people whose homes were destroyed or are unsafe. About 1,000 still live in a stadium while others are in schools or tents.

The Philippine government has set up hundreds of bunkhouses or temporary shelters but they are not enough. Thousands are still waiting to be given shelter.

Four months after the disaster, some bodies of the victims are still recovered from the debris by the city authorities.

The Philippine government said the death toll topped 6,200 with 1,785 others missing in the disaster.

Sixteen million Filipinos were affected by the super-typhoon in 44 provinces mostly in central Philippines.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez complained that aid from the national government was slow in coming to the city.

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Editor: Zhu Ningzhu
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