A mother and her children brave heavy rains as they head for an evacuation center amidst strong winds as Typhoon Haiyan pounded Cebu City, in central Philippines on November 8, 2013. One of the most intense typhoons on record whipped the Philippines on November 8.
Some San Diegans are stepping in to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
The typhoon ravaged the Philippines when it hit land three days ago. Authorities estimate as many as 10,000 people have died.
Now, recovery teams, including some from San Diego, are working to bring support to the hardest hit areas.
San Diego State University graduate David Overton moved to the Philippines 10 years ago to open a free maternity clinic for women. Overton and his wife live in Cebu City in Cebu Province.
“All the houses that had tin roofs, those roofs were gone,” Overton said, describing the storm destruction.
“It looks pretty bad.”
Overton said that Cebu City was lucky not to get the brunt of the storm.
“North of the island, there are two smaller islands,” he explained. “The mayor of one of those towns said basically 90 percent of the buildings in that town are complete rubble.”
Overton said his main focus is working with relief organizations in his area, but that a nurse on his team is heading to one of the harder hit places.
Back home in San Diego, Barry LaForgia with International Relief Teams is preparing for the long-term.
LaForgia said disasters typically have three stages. Right now, it’s all about keeping people alive with plenty of food and water. Then, the focus turns to providing shelter to those who have been displaced. The final stage is bringing people back to the way their lives used to be.
“That can go on for many years,” LaForgia said. “The recovery stage is the longest phase.”
LaForgia estimates it could take the Philippines four to five years to fully recover from this disaster.