Tacloban, Philippines – It has been nearly three weeks since Typhoon Haiyan, the world’s biggest-ever storm to make landfall, struck the central Philippines – killing more than 5,200 people, displacing 4.4 million and destroying $547m in crops and infrastructure.
In Leyte Province, 70 to 80 percent of the area was destroyed. Tacloban, the capital of Leyte, where five-metre waves flattened nearly everything in their path, suffered more loss of life than any other Philippine city. Outside the town centre, in a hillside cemetery, city workers have dug a mass gravesite which stretches along 100 metres.
Much of Tacloban has been turned to rubble, leaving many survivors homeless and dependent on aid. Philippine Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said on November 14 that it may take six weeks before the first typhoon-hit towns get their electric power back.
Visiting the city, it is clear that – despite the help of the international community – it will take a very long time for the town to recover.