Sunday, 17 November 2013

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan - My family story from Albuera Leyte

As many of you have heard there was a horrific storm that raged through the Philippines. Although born and raised in Scotland my mum is from the Philippines I've been there back and forth on holiday and even lived there for a few years when I was younger so this country will always have a special place in my heart. My family are from Albuera in the island of Leyte which is on the opposite side of Tacloban City were the media have been broadcasting and is one of the worst hit. The picture above was taken June this year when my mum and dad went there to visit and this is the beautiful view that greets them from the porch. As you you can see there isn't much distance from peoples homes to the sea.
Despite this tragedy hitting this beautiful nation there was hope for my family as their lives were all spared even though they stay directly across from the sea. There are many members of my family living there including very young children. At the time of this typhoon my cousin was eight months pregnant with her third child,  during this roaring storm she gave birth to a miracle baby called Jerome weighing only four pounds named after his father who tragically died earlier this year. My cousin gave birth at our home with no medical help and the fear of losing her and her families life in an instant but managed to pull through despite a treacherous typhoon. We have been lucky enough to have contact with them just after the storm hit as the generator was fixed in their small town and my mum has been speaking to them everyday and have been told that thier water supply from the mountains wasn't damaged so Albuera fortunately has had running water although we don't know how safe it actually is. The mayor of the town has been distributing what little food they had salvaged and is being shared out to all the families.
The generosity of the countries giving millions of pounds and aid is over whelming. Although relief aid has been given it has been slow reaching some people with over a week since the storm my family in the town of Albuera has said they have only started seeing relief help come in yesterday. There has been planes dropping parachutes of supplies to which they are extremely grateful and trucks have came into Ormoc City handing out goods which has been a battle to get through the wreckage. Even though money has been sent over from families the queues to the bank are miles long and people are being sent back home to come again the next day, a few shops have also been opened with limited supplies.

Since typhoon Haiyan my family have been trying to piece their lives back together. Although they have been fortunate enough not to lose anyone they have been left without a roof over their head, shortage of food and little water but the community have came together to rebuild homes, clear the wreckage and share whatever necessities they can find whilst waiting for further help. This is one of the very few fortunate stories that will be seen and the threat of disease is still a very high risk to the survivors. 

Although my family was spared there are millions of people still waiting for help. The media has only shown destruction in the larger cities but there are still remote islands that haven't had any contact and time is running out. Please please spare a thought for the people of the Philippines their once beautiful country is now unrecognizable and has now became ruins. If you haven't already please donate to the Philippine Red Cross Oxfam  Unicef or any other organization, no donation is too little and will be greatly appreciated.
If you have family living in Albeura, Leyte and haven't managed to make contact yet please let me know and I will speak to my family to see if they have seen/ heard from them.

Thank you xxx

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