World Vision – Surviving Nock-ten

In Carolina, Naga City, several motorists were unable to pass through roads due to debris. Photo Credit @ Eleanor Asuan, Finance Officer, World Vision Philippines.

 

Typhoon Nock-ten (known locally as Nina) rapidly intensified as it made its way toward the Philippines over this Christmas weekend. It finally made landfall over Catanduanes, Central Philippines in the evening of 25th December 2016.

As well as Catanduanes province in the Bicol region, the capital city, Manila was expected to be impacted with destructive winds, massive storm surge flooding and medium-to-heavy rainfalls.
World Vision Philippines activated its National Disaster Management Team on Thursday, 22nd December in preparation for the cyclone and has been ready to mobilise its prepositioned relief items in Luzon and Visayas warehouses.

The relief items – which can cater to 4,000 families (approx. 20,000 people) – contain kitchen sets, emergency shelter kits (tarps and ropes), hygiene kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear, bath and laundry soaps, sanitary napkins, nail cutter) and other non-food items such as mosquito nets and blankets.

 

Gloomy weather was felt in Sorsogon, Bicol region as Nock-ten nears landfall. Photo Credit: Donnie Haviera

Surviving Nock-ten – Eleanor Asuan

Eleanor is a Finance Officer with World Vision Philippines and was spending time with family at Christmas when they were alerted to the typhoon headed towards them.

“It was around four in the afternoon when the rain started pouring. Like any other rainy day, it was just light showers at first and the restless wind whistled. But at 8:30 in the evening, the electricity was cut off and the rain became more persistent while the wind fearlessly roared and kept getting louder. I started praying really hard.

Prior to the Nock-ten’s landfall, my father and my eldest child installed straps to secure the roof. I’m proud to have responsible kids. Every year, Bicol region experiences typhoons so they were trained and prepared with their quick run bags; always ready for emergencies. After securing our things, we left our home and sought shelter in my parent’s house. It was Christmas day so most of the family gathered at the house and my kids, especially my daughter, found playmates in her cousins. It kept her mind from being distracted by the loud sounds of the wind. At 10pm, we felt the typhoon’s wrath. Floodwater started entering the house.

Damaged homes after the typhoon passed through Naga City. Photo Credit: Eleanor Asuan, Finance Officer, World Vision Philippines

I remember praying really hard then and to my comfort the situation didn’t get worse.
When a mother senses that her children are in danger, an indescribable fear grips her. My fear gradually mellowed down when I looked at the mature way my children were handling the situation. They were worried about our house, saying, “Ma, paano yan? Hindi pa kami nakakatapos sa paga-aral, di ka pa naming matutulungang magpatayo ng bago (Ma, what now? We’re not yet finished with our studies so we won’t be able to help you build a new house).” They know I’m a single parent and house repairs would mean extra budget.

At 01:00 in the morning, the typhoon finally calmed down so we decided to go back to our house. That is when the reality of the damage started sinking in. Parts of the roof were ripped off and the windows were broken. This wasn’t the kind of Christmas celebration we anticipated but I’m still thankful the bigger things in life, the safety of my family members.

Now that Nock-ten has passed, I know there’s a lot to be done. There are communities in need of help and there are children who may be welcoming the New Year without a home. It’s heart breaking.
As I wait on standby for World Vision to start mobilising its emergency response team on the ground I know how it feels to lose something so I prepare myself to extend whatever support and help needed.”

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