Tuesday, December 16, 2014

After the tsunami: a Thai fishing village, ten years on

Ampai with her three children outside the family home on Koh Lanta
© UNICEF Thailand/2014/Jingjai N.
It’s been almost ten years since the Indian Ocean tsunami hit the Thai island of Koh Lanta on 26 December 2004, but talking about it still brings tears to Ampai’s eyes. “I often cry when I talk about the tsunami,” she says apologetically. “It’s always at the back of my mind, like a scar that doesn’t heal.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Typhoon Hagupit: relief and celebrations as the storm passes

Children play at an evacuation centre in a covered court in Quezon City
© UNICEF Philippines/2014/Andy Brown
Today the sun is shining in Manila and Typhoon Hagupit has finally exited the Philippines, leaving significantly less death and destruction than was feared. One factor in the low casualties – the latest estimate is 27, compared to over 7,000 for Haiyan last year – is the disaster risk reduction measures put in place by UNICEF, the government and partners, including early mass evacuations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Typhoon Hagupit: disaster risk reduction in Quezon City

Elna Cirilo with Nicole and Cyrus at the evacuation centre
© UNICEF Philippines/2014/Andy Brown
Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, passed south of Manila overnight on Monday 8 December. The eye of the storm missed the city but there was plenty of rain and wind surrounding the typhoon, carrying with it flood risks, in particular for slum communities living on flood plains near the river.

Photos: Families take shelter from Typhoon Hagupit

© UNICEF Philippines/2014/Andy Brown
Typhoon Hagupit passed south of Manila, capital of the Philippines, overnight on Monday. Wind and rain brought flood risks for slum communities living near the river. In Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City (part of Metro Manila), an evacuation centre was set up in a covered court on the hillside above a flood plain.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Typhoon Hagupit: sunny in Tacloban, stormy in Manila

John Dave, 3, has a bath outside a bunkhouse in Tacloban the day after the storm
© UNICEF Philippines/2014/G Samson
Today, Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) has been making itself known in Manila. The winds and rain that swirl around the edge of the storm arrived early and are expected to strengthen significantly overnight. Walking to the office this morning, I braced myself against both, while an empty Starbucks cup hurtled down the street towards me.