Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Typhoon Haiyan: aerial footage shows how Tacloban has recovered six months on from the natural disaster

Six months on from Typhoon Haiyan, The Telegraph’s Lewis Whyld, who covered its immediate aftermath with an unmanned drone, returns to see how the worst affected city is recovering

Political rivalries, a lack of resources and the devastating impact the disaster had on Tacloban’s people and economy mean reconstruction has proved slow.
On the eve of Haiyan’s six-month anniversary The Telegraph’s Lewis Whyld, who covered its immediate aftermath with an unmanned drone, returned to see how the worst affected city was recovering.
Whyld, a visual journalist and innovations specialist, arrived in Tacloban days after the typhoon struck on November 8 and used an unmanned drone to document the destruction from above.
Six months later and using images from last November as a guide, he returned to Tacloban and manually flew the drone back over the precise same routes, allowing a direct comparison between then and now.
“The drone has allowed us to retrace our exact steps six month later,” said Whyld. “Previously with a static camera on the ground you wouldn’t have been able to do that.”
The new images, gathered over 10 days and around 20 hours of flight time, offer a bird’s eye view of how Tacloban has changed.
Much of the debris has now been cleared from its once body-lined streets. But other parts of the city that were completely levelled remained “pretty much untouched,” Whyld said.
A lack of government housing for the displaced means many have been forced to return to the vulnerable coastal areas that bore the brunt of the typhoon.
“Aid workers who are there are saying that the main thing is housing. Food and electricity is available and people have access to health care. What is really lacking is housing,” said Whyld.
“There are signs up and everybody knows the rule that you can’t build near the sea but it is blindingly obviously that they are doing that. The first thing I saw was that everyone is rebuilding exactly where they were living previously. At the moment it is really up in the air for a lot of families.”

Thanks to the Telegraph for permission to run this.

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