The First Year Anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda
One year has passed since the typhoon Yolanda hit and caused a tremendous damage in the Philippines. Tacloban City, one of the most devastated areas, seems to be revitalized again after one year. Many people and cars are passing by the streets, which are free of debris. A lot of street stands and stores are back, and people in Tacloban have their smiles back on their face. New construction or rebuilding of buildings and houses are seen everywhere. People resided along the costal line before typhoon Yolanda made their choices whether to move to the temporary housing or to stay in the same location and rebuild their houses on their own. According to the locals, not enough temporary housing is available despite more housing is under construction. Also, many schools and other buildings are in need of repairs.
Tacloban city seems to be full of happiness now, however, interactions with local affected people through reconstruction activities revealed that they have different stories related to Typhoon Yolanda behind their smiles. A few children were saved in the floating fridge. One man was saved by holding on to the tree. An elderly lady witnessed her husband drowning in front of her. A man could hold the newly installed cabinet and go to the second floor while the first floor was fully filled with seawater. Many people had to walk on the road with the remains of the dead to the Tacloban airport in order to receive the relief goods just few days after the disaster.
1. Distribution of Christmas Food Package
November 8th is the Christmas season already in the Philippines. Streets are filled with Christmas decorations, and the people are getting the feel of Christmas.
For the 1st year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, AMDA has decided to distribute Christmas Food Package containing Spaghetti, Tomato sauce, Cheese, Corn beef, Juice powder in accordance with the advice from the local. The place of distribution was Barangay PHHC in Tacloban City where 109 families are residing and 23 casualties are recorded.
With the support from Barangay officials and Leyte Provincial Board Member, AMDA was able to visit each house and hand over the items. Because no families knew about the distribution, they were happily surprised and said, "I am really happy to receive the Christmas gift. Thank you." Also, Typhoon Yolanda survivors mentioned about their experience after typhoon Yolanda. AMDA staff spoke to one of the elderly who lost her husband, "I am sorry about what happened last year. How are you now?" Her eyes became teary without any words.
2. Launch of the Reconstruction of Leyte Medical Society Building/Emergency Relief Station
On November 9th, the groundbreaking ceremony was held for the launch of the reconstruction of Leyte Medical Society Building/Emergency Relief Station in Hollywood, Tacloban, which is easily accessible. This place is located along the main road from Tacloban airport to Samar, and there was no damage from storm surge.
After a month and half from typhoon Yolanda, AMDA encountered with the former president of Leyte Medical Society for the first time. Then, the former president explained functions of the society in the community such as providing continuation medical education to the local doctors, giving preventive education to the community, offering free consultations to the patients on certain days, holding monthly meetings and recreational events. Based on the local needs and due to high frequency of the disasters in the area, AMDA has decided to cooperate with Leyte Medical Society for reconstruction of the building and future collaboration.
The building is scheduled to be complete from March to April, 2015, and Leyte Medical Society's activities before Typhoon Yolanda would be resumed at the new building.
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