Typhoon Haiyan Diary: On the Ground in Tacloban

November 19, 2013

Kent Page, Senior Advisor of Strategic Communications for UNICEF Philippines, has been on the ground in Tacloban following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.

It's great to be part of the UNICEF immediate response team that were rushed into the Philippines after the devastation of super typhoon Haiyan. We are a group of emergency professionals specializing in health, education, child protection, water and sanitation, supply, logistics, indication and other issues.

I was out today with the RTE Irish TV crew and later on with the German ZDF-TV crew, bumping into the Spanish ANC newspaper correspondent along the way as we saw visited victims of the typhoon - who have truly lost everything (I mean there is nothing left of their homes or belongings).  Well, they haven't lost everything ... I am inspired by their kindness and hopeful outlook in the face of devastation.

Sitting in the blazing heat and humidity in front of what indiscernibly was once her home, a woman wished me a good morning with a big smile as I walked by, followed by a "Happy Yolanda!" and a peal of laughter. I asked her how she was and she said, "Things can only get better!" and then asked me how I was doing ... We talked for a bit as another  one of the body bag trucks passed by with their distinct smell. She didn't bat an eyelid.

Read his full account here.