Philippines Storms Batter Homes, Families

On most days, Mylene Loggan earns $1.50 in profit from a full day’s work washing clothes, which pays for her family’s most essential needs. Her husband works as a day laborer during the farming season, taking home a small portion of the rice that he harvests. Together with their four children, they live in a squatter’s community with other farm laborer families in the village of Nabuan Vieja in Isabela province. On most days, they eat with whatever they can earn – usually rice mixed with instant coffee for flavor – not a typical meal for Filippinos, but only what’s available.

Last Tuesday, Mylene lost her bamboo house when heavy winds near 100 mph from Typhoon Nesast blew through it. Now, they are living in a damaged house next door with a roof, but missing a wall. Not a place to raise four children, and not a place to weather the next storm. Their biggest concern is getting a proper roof over their heads. But eating comes first and today her husband has to harvest rather than rebuild. Tomorrow, Typhoon Nalgae is hitting the same region, bringing winds of over 120 mph and more rain. They’ll take refuge at the Catholic chapel when the next storm hits, and they’ll continue to rely on their neighbors for help.

According to Nikki De Vera, CRS’ deputy program manager, “People are used to work and surviving daily, but with another storm coming, they have to rely on neighbor’s care and support to weather another storm.”

The Philippines is being pounded by a series of tropical typhoons. Further south in central Luzon in Philippines, rivers are overflowing with record floods and tens of thousands are being evacuated. CRS is conducting emergency assessments in central and northern Luzon to help families recover and rebuild.

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