22 November 2013
Four-year-old Angelica Lacsey clings to her uncle, Ronnie Flores, 24, her eyes filled with grief.
Typhoon Haiyan hit their village, the waves rushed in and dragged people out to sea. Ronnie grabbed Angelica and ran.
Ronnie said: ‘I really had to struggle to keep hold of her and get to the shore, avoiding all the debris that was rushing towards us. Eventually, we managed to get to the shore and to safety up the hill.’
Tragically, Angelica’s parents were killed by the storm, leaving Ronnie as her guardian. Ronnie’s brother-in-law’s body was found 4km away, and his sister remains missing. They’re now living with his aunt nearby.
'I have been looking for my sister ever since, but she’s still missing; we can’t find her body. She could be anywhere.’
Christian Aid and its partners CERD and Coastal Core have begun distributing food in the hardest to reach communities in eastern Samar. Ronnie and Angelica received food packages consisting of water, rice, salt, corned beef, canned tuna, cooking oil and a jerry can.
Ronnie and Angelica’s community is situated on the coast of Eastern Samar – a popular holiday destination known for its white sands and usually tranquil setting.
The area was the first to be ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan during the early morning of November 9 when it was dark.
Strong winds battered the area bringing three huge waves inland, engulfing dozens of communities. Those living by the coast didn’t stand a chance.
Eastern Samar is one of the poorest areas of the Philippines, where the majority people rely on the numerous coconut trees for a living.
With 95 per cent of trees destroyed these communities have little option left to sustain themselves.
The once green and lush landscape is now damp, brown and bleak.
Help to rebuild lives
You can help people like Angelica begin to rebuild their lives by donating to the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.