Typhoon Haiyan: A scene of devastation, and how donations from EDP readers helped rebuild lives

Althea Jane, aged eight, in class at Kapangian Central School in Tacloban City. The school was damag

Althea Jane, aged eight, in class at Kapangian Central School in Tacloban City. The school was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan and Unicef has helped rebuild it, provided teaching and learning materials, and improved handwashing and toilet facilities. Photo: Unicef/ Hema Balasundaram - Credit: Archant

One year ago today, millions of people were hit by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest in history, and the images of devastation and human loss touched the world.

A year ago, Edegario and his family fled Tacloban for Manila after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed their ho

A year ago, Edegario and his family fled Tacloban for Manila after Typhoon Haiyan destroyed their home. Now they are rebuilding it. Photo: Unicef/Joey Reyna - Credit: Archant

When it struck the Philippines, it was the strongest tropical storm on record to hit land, with sustained winds of 190-195mph.

According to children's charity Unicef, more than 6 million children were affected; eight regions in Central Philippines were devastated; thousands of people died, and around 4 million people lost their homes.

Although the disaster happened thousands of miles away, many people in our region were directly affected: Filipinos in Norfolk who lost family members, people who were worried about home towns, and tourists who were visiting the area.

The EDP linked up with Unicef to launch a campaign to raise much-needed funds to bring immediate relief to some of the worst-affected areas, such as the city of Tacloban, and help survivors as they struggled to rebuild their lives in the weeks and months that followed.

Scenes of devastation following Typhoon Haiyan.

Scenes of devastation following Typhoon Haiyan. - Credit: Archant


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Our readers responded magnificently, contributing £42,732.50. Unicef said it was an 'unprecedented' response to a regional newspaper appeal.

Kapangian Central School in Tacloban City was damaged by Typhoon Haiyan, but Unicef has helped rebuild it, provided teaching and learning materials, and improved handwashing and toilet facilities.

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Althea Jane, eight, said: 'I was worried for my school because it was broken. Then our school was repaired. I like my school because I can read, write, play at the playground and do my assignment.'

A year ago, Edegario and his family fled Tacloban for Manila after the storm destroyed their home. After a month they went back to Tacloban to start rebuilding their lives.

He and his family still live with his uncle a year one, but, he said 'we're finally building our house'.

In the last year Unicef has:

• Helped more than 1.3 million people with access to safe water

• Provided 40,060 children with psychosocial support

• Immunised 1.3 million children against measles

• Delivered hygiene kits to more than 504,000 children in schools

• Provided 624,000 children with learning materials

Unicef UK's deputy executive director, Catherine Cottrell, said: 'One year ago, Typhoon Haiyan caused unimaginable devastation and millions of children lost their homes, schools and tragically, their loved ones.

'The enormous generosity of Eastern Daily Press readers helped Unicef to save lives and reach the most vulnerable children in desperate need. On behalf of Unicef UK I would like to thank every single reader who donated.

'Unicef will continue to help rebuild lives and communities in the Philippines for as long as we are needed.'

David Powles, assistant editor of the EDP, said: 'The images from the Philippines were absolutely heart-rending, and the response to the appeal showed just how caring EDP readers are. Their generosity helped to make a real difference to many people when they needed it the most.'

Were you affected by Typhoon Haiyan? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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