Six days after one of the strongest typhoons on record hit Coron Town, we are doing quite well. Yolanda devastated some locations such as Tacloban, Leyte and Malapascua Island, Cebu. It’s my opinion that the community of Coron Town was quite fortunate.
A countless number of trees were uprooted, windows were blown in, power lines were knocked down, and some roofs were damaged by the high winds. Most of the concrete structures here weathered the storm well. The local style nipa huts suffered the brunt of the damage. Many, having the sawali (woven bamboo mat) walls blown away or the roofs blown off.
Power lines will take a few weeks to get repaired. I was told two weeks for Coron Town, but I feel that would be optimistic. Longer for areas outside of town. City water is already flowing. Debris has been gathered into piles, and is waiting to be taken to the trash dump. One of the cell towers was blown over, so cell service and internet can be hit or miss. However, for the most part, people here are now starting to get back to their normal lives.
Lolo Nonoy’s restaurant had a section of tables damaged, but they are open and still serving delicious food. They don’t have a generator so the evening patrons get to eat by candlelight. Noname Bar is open and serving cold beer and drinks in the evenings. Coron Bistro had some roof damage; but with the help of their generator, things are business as usual. Coron Galeri, the largest Island Hopping Tour business in Coron, is running trips for snorkelers and beach bums. Here at Neptune, we have been taking out divers for the past three days.
The outlying areas of Busuanga suffered much worse than we did. Relief efforts are ongoing to get aid to the small villages in the outer areas of Busuanga and its neighboring islands. We have been helping by organizing canned goods and clothing for Lajala, a small community where many of the local boat captains come from. Those other areas do need our help. If you wish to donate items, send us an email and I can put you in contact with people here or in Manila that are helping bring goods to our neighbors.
Coron has always been a bit of an adventure destination, and for the next few weeks it might be a little more adventurous than normal. The biggest inconvenience is the lack of power. So many places have generators that if you need power, you can find it. Even though I am an import, I still consider myself a Coronian. We are a resilient, strong, and proud group of people. Yolanda may have knocked us down, but we got back up and have already started moving forward again.
All of these pictures were taken on Thursday morning, 14 November 2013.