It’s back to Stone Age for some Eastern Samar folk
MERCEDES, Eastern Samar—Victims who survived Supertyphoon “Yolanda” by huddling in a cave as a tsunami-like wave obliterated their community have now made it their home—reduced to Stone Age conditions with nowhere else to go.
Manuel Isquierdo and his wife sought refuge in the limestone den as Yolanda—one of the strongest storms ever recorded—flattened the town of Mercedes, washing away residents’ livelihoods in the devastating early hours of Nov. 8. Mercedes adjoins Guiuan town where Yolanda made first landfall.
“It was past midnight when my wife and I decided to run up to the cave behind our house,” the fisherman told Agence France-Presse.
“We were just in time. Our house crumpled to the ground soon after,” the 38-year-old added.
The couple were joined by two other families and spent more than six hours in the dark, damp cavern as rising storm surge waters edged dangerously closer and closer to its entrance, frightened that they would drown or be swept out to sea.
“We could hear the typhoon outside. It sounded like a bulldozer,” Isquierdo said. “We were afraid of the sea, afraid that the storm surge would flood the cave.”
As the winds died down and waters subsided, the families stepped out of the cave to witness unimaginable destruction—their neighborhood had been destroyed and they had been left with virtually nothing.
Since then, the cave has become a temporary home as Isquierdo works on rebuilding his wooden house on stilts near the Buyayawon river on Samar’s Pacific coast.
The cave holds the little possessions the Isquierdos and others were able to salvage from the wreckage. A clothesline blocks the entrance and remnants of a wood fire lie in the corner. AFP
Originally posted: 4:16 pm | Monday, November 18th, 2013
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