Its been a few weeks since my last post. Been a bit busy entertaining a guest who came from abroad to visit, a Christmas Eve Typhoon, a lack of Electricity, and Traveling to and from Naga City a few times. In this blog post I am going to share photos of the damage to the Barangay, or village, in which I live.
My heart goes out to the locals here because most are really low income households. My home received minimal damage. we had a water line break and the tin roof awning to our guest house blew apart. However, Others were not so lucky.
The typhoon passed rather quickly in the night. But the power of it was very intense. My home is made of Concrete and brick; rather solid from the ground up. Other families had homes of wood and nipper which is the leafy type roof. The wind was so powerful that I could feel my home shake from it. Windows rattled hard. wind pushed a lot of water through the window seals.
It is hard to see this and not feel so sorry for them. Life in the province is already difficult for some and this really hit too hard for many. If I had a lot of money I would do more to help. But I am not able to do as I wish I could. Our Peninsula since December 24th has had no Grid electric. We power our home at night by Generator and others come to our place to watch television or charge their mobiles. Communication signal returned the 29th to our area. Efforts for utility seems to be on going but it will be a while before it reaches my place.
For some of the younger generation this damage was a bit hard to grasp. They never experience anything like this. Typhoon Nina started out in the Pacific Ocean as a tropical storm and within a couple days hit us as a Signal 4 Typhoon, the storm had very strong gusts of wind and rain. Many trees fell, many damaged, and some even landed on homes.
Here the main source of income is Copra. That is the dried meat of the coconut. It is used to make coconut oils and extracts. My wife is telling me that since so many of the trees were damaged they may not produce fruits for a while since the energy of the plant will go back into recovery. That is a major financial blow to locals in the long term.
Recover will not be easy. Some will do with what they have and some will rebuild with what is left.
On the 24th I took this photo of this house because I was having a discussion with my friend in the US about how strong this storm is. I explained that I was concerned and that there would be damage to homes like this one taken on the 24th. I did not expect it to actually be this one. It was only meant to be an example of how many local homes are structured.
While I was in the military I was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. I been through a few hurricanes. But not one that I have witnessed had this kind of intensity. This was a signal 4. The one that hit Tacloban a few years ago and killed over 10,000 people was a signal 5 super typhoon. I am thankful we were not that badly hit.
I give thanks to God and Jesus that no one in my area was killed or severely injured. There were a few deaths reported in our province but no one immediately close to us. This could have been worse. But for now, it is time for my neighbors and friends to rebuild and do their best to survive the aftermath. Thanks for Reading and viewing.
David Lee Martin
Functional US Army Veteran