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2014 3:47 pm Typhoon survivor Jonathan Bacsal Jr. runs past a cross that indicates his father Jonathan Bacsal Sr is buried at a mass grave for typhoon Haiyan victims (Source: AP) Related News Four months after she lost her husband and home to Typhoon Haiyan’s fury Agnes Bacsal gave birth to their sixth child – a sprightly boy whose company has eased the family’s pain Other survivors like fisherman Ben Pedrero still struggle His wife and son perished in the monster storm and more than 40 other relatives are still missing one year later “In just a blink of an eye they were all gone I’ll only overcome this tragedy when I die myself” the 61-year-old Pedrero said wiping tears with his shirt as he helped relatives roast a pig and prepare food for the disaster’s anniversary On Saturday as church bells pealed and sirens wailed across this central Philippine city to commemorate the moment on Nov 8 2013 when Haiyan barreled inland from the Pacific Bacsal and Pedrero were planning to light candles and offer prayers at separate mass graves in Tacloban Leyte Roman Catholic Bishop John Du led prayers at a site where close to 2300 people are buried Some lit candles and wrote names of their family members on newly planted white crosses in the vast field on the outskirts of the city At a city hall commemoration 1000 white balloons were released to signify acceptance of the human loss Typhoon Haiyan leveled entire villages with ferocious winds and tsunami-like waves leaving more than 7300 people dead or missing Funeral parlors were overwhelmed forcing survivors to bury their dead near where they were found _ on church grounds roadsides and beaches as well as in front yards and backyards The worst-hit city of Tacloban and outlying regions have crawled back from the rubble Shopping malls hotels and offices have reopened with cars taxis and motorcycles clogging downtown streets _ the same spots where huge mounds of debris and bodies lay scattered weeks after Haiyan blew away Yet human scars are harder to overcome The storm’s 7-meter (21-foot) -high waves also took away Pedrero’s house with all its precious belongings _ including his family’s pictures and other mementos Also gone was his fishing boat which provided his only source of income Like him Bacsal still relies on dole-outs mostly from relatives and friends Without her husband tricycle driver Jonathan and her house she now lives with her six children in a shack built from storm debris Amid continuing adversity Bacsal’s family is being held together by faith _ an altar with rosaries and the images of Jesus and the Virgin Mary adorn a wall _ and a bubbly new family member 7-month-old baby John William His cries filled the bare shack “He gives me joy just by being beside me” Bacsal said cradling her baby A 14-year-old daughter Maria Jean beamed with optimism “I’ll be the best businesswoman in Asia and bring them out of here someday” she said when asked about her plans With help from relatives and friends Bacsal was able to send Maria Jean to high school They scrimp on grocery items recently donated by a city official and were able to sell extra food stuff to neighbors in an improvised store They sometimes miss out on meals While the exact figures for the dead and missing are still being collected the physical recovery from Haiyan remains a challenge The typhoon demolished about a million houses and displaced more than 4 million people in one of the country’s poorest regions where a Marxist insurgency has endured for decades Overall damage was estimated at 5711 billion pesos ($129 billion) including about 16 million knocked-down coconut trees a major source of livelihood With the loss of income about a million more people were pushed deeper into poverty according to the Asian Development Bank Building more than 200000 new houses for the poor who were left with nothing is proving difficult The Philippine government backed by international donors has built temporary bunkhouses and shelters but many residents have hammered back their shacks in the same coastal villages where they were hit by the storm and which have been officially declared “no-build zones” About 3000 people still live in tents in Tacloban though the city government has pledged to move them to permanent housing by the end of the year Under the long-term plan to protect against similar typhoon onslaughts the government wants to build an elevated road connecting Tacloban to two coastal towns that also will serve as a dike “Like you I am impatient” President Benigno Aquino III told residents during a visit Friday to nearby Eastern Samar province He added however “We can’t be reckless as we build back better” For all the latest World News download Indian Express App More Related NewsBy: PTI | Bangkok | Published: October 16 2016 7:41 pm The Crown Prince wanted the people “not to be confused or feel concerned over the succession to the Throne because this matter is clearly stated in the Constitution the Palace Law and traditions” (source: AP) Top News Thailand’s Crown Prince MahaVajiralongkorn has tried to dispel concerns over his surprisedecision to delay coronation and asked the public “not to beconfused or feel concerned” as he wants to join the citizensin mourning the demise of his father?

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download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: December 11, Tax cuts are getting close! ?the feeling that he is “neglected for being a Hindu”. I don’t want to alter anything on my body. Meanwhile, AAP has said that the Supreme Court can order fresh elections although the proclamation order is continuing since there is adequate evidence to show that no party has the strength to form a government, download Indian Express App More Top NewsBy: AP | Beijing | Published: December 23, 2015 11:22 am Top News Egyptian security officials say a suicide car bomber has targeted a military compound in the country’s restive Sinai Peninsula. who lost the Roland Garros final to Maria Sharapova.

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