Broken wood, metal scraps, and plastic waste line shores where stray dogs sleep. The air is suffocated with the smell of dead fish and waste.
Lacia stated, “Everything was gone except my house.” “The roof and any wood we used to build it were gone.”
Although the Philippines is subject to several typhoons per year, the climate crisis has made storms more unpredictable and extreme. This has left the country’s poorest citizens most vulnerable.
Lacia and her family lost everything. Now, they must rebuild their homes without enough food or water.
“We thought that we were safe because our house was tied up. He stated that they believed that this was enough to prevent it from collapsing. “We put a weight onto our roof to prevent it being blown away. It wasn’t enough.
Christmas for the Homeless
According to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Typhoon Rai affected nearly 4 million people in more than 400 cities.
Christmas was one of the most important holidays for the Catholic-majority country. More than half a billion people were still displaced.
Jerome Balinton, humanitarian manager at Save the Children, stated that “Families have no” “Bright lights and Christmas music are replaced by dirty, humid evacuation centres. Their only wish for Christmas is to survive.”
Jovelyn Paloma, 35, of Surigao City, fled to her parish church in her community before Rai struck. Her fragile, made of wood, metal and plastic, hut was unable to withstand the strong winds.
As she sat among the ruins of her house, the mother of seven said, “The roofs on every house were flying everywhere.” “Our house was the first to fall. The roof first fell off. The foundation then collapsed. My mother’s home collapsed after the foundation was destroyed.”
Floods destroyed all the family’s food. Their rice stock, a staple food in the Southeast Asian country, was floating in muddy waters next to broken pieces. Sayson’s children are wearing ruined clothes and her furniture is in pieces due to the rain.
In the aftermath, Sayson’s kitchen appliances were taken. She stated that she can’t afford to rebuild from scratch.
She said, “We need money for rebuilding our house.” “We don’t dream of owning a mansion. All we want is a safe place for our children to call home.
Despite the trauma, her loved ones still came together to celebrate the holiday.
Sayson stated, “We had nothing to eat.” “Someone gave us sliced bread and canned goods. Even though we’re poor, we still have Christmas parties every year.”
Prolonged displacement and suffering
According to the NDRRMC more than 1,000 temporary shelters have already been built to house people whose homes have collapsed.
Many of the displaced families find the traumatizing and painful experience unbearable.
Alvin Dumduma, Philippines project manager for aid group Humanity Inclusion said that it is exhausting for families to rebuild their homes while starving and thirsty.
“The evacuation centers are not ideal. It’s unhygienic. He added that thousands are sleeping under one roof without clean water. “Children aren’t going to school. There is no electricity. They will remain this way for a long time.”
Dumduma claimed that the disaster has also destroyed these families’ livelihoods.
He stated that many were from fishing or farming communities whose homes and land had been destroyed. They will have to work hard to rebuild their businesses.
Dumduma however stated that there are many things that need to be done at the government level in order to avoid future devastation.
“Chaos erupted because the government wasn’t prepared.” He said that they must improve their disaster and response plan. “We need to train more, be more prepared and take action sooner,” he said.
CNN reached out the NDRRMC for comment, but did not hear back from them before publication.
Climate crisis: The effects
The Philippines is located along the western Pacific Ocean’s Typhoon Belt. These storms are common in the Philippines, but the climate crisis has made them more extreme and unpredictable.
Cyclones are becoming more destructive and intense as the climate crisis worsens. Rai grew quickly from a Category 1 storm into a Category 5 storm in 24 hours. It could travel 260 km (160 miles) an hour and clocked winds of up to 260 km.
The country was not prepared to face a disaster this large.
Kairos Dela Cruz is the deputy head of Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities. He stated that developing countries are at their limit in being able to manage natural disasters on their behalf and that those who live in low-lying coastal areas will soon be displaced by rising sea levels.
Dela Cruz stated that the climate crisis also exposes the systemic problems in Philippines.
He stated that “We need more resources to assist us” and that (we should play) a stronger international role to push for climate finance.
Dela Cruz says that a December storm of Rai’s magnitude is not common for the Philippines, which typically experiences typhoons in June and September.
Alita Spid, 64, sees the consequences of the climate crisis clearly.
Rai said that she had experienced typhoons in the past, but this one was stronger. Sapid remained at home in Surigao She was with her husband, daughter and four grandchildren when the typhoon struck. But as the water seeped into their home, they decided it was time for them to evacuate.
She said that she had told her husband to get out of there, or he might die. “My grandchildren had no choice but to crawl on the roads, because the wind was so strong.”
Sapid’s roof is completely ruined. The family is without a place to go and has no money so they are forced to live in their house.
“Aside thinking about which priority we were going to give in the repair, we are also looking at how we can get our foods,” she stated.
“We have not yet received any help. We are waiting for someone to help.
It’s a long road to recovery
Lacia, a Dinagat Islander, will move to Surigao with his wife, child, and their baby. He said that it is safer there.
“My neighbors (in Dinagat) are no more.” “Most of them have left because there’s nothing left in our area,” he stated.
His only possessions are a few matchsticks and a box of rice, dried salmon, and canned goods.
Lacia stated, “In my family we really need to help so that we can rise again”
He said that Odette was a Super Typhoon. “We lost the home that was damaged by the wind-driven storm. We tried everything, but it wasn’t enough.