Vital supplies begin to reach vulnerable families in Anonang Norte

Published: 20 November 2013 18:33 CET

By Nichola Jones, IFRC, in Cebu

As the wind roared around them, 83-year-old Marcos Bindar hid with his family in one of the only concrete houses near the village on Anonang Norte in northern Cebu. Together, they waited for the storm to pass.

Marcos has lived through dozens of typhoons and knows exactly what to do to stay safe. But Haiyan was different.

“I knew this one wasn't like the others; that it would be serious,” he said. “We heard it coming and we all got together and prayed that the house we were in would be OK. Luckily, it was. But when I went outside, my house was gone.”

Marcos, his granddaughter Jie Ann Andales and her daughter Joy are living with other relatives among the debris of their former homes.

“It was very sad for me because I have lived here all my life and the place I love is so badly damaged. I don’t know how we will recover, but I am sure we will,” he said.

Although the great-grandfather is in good health, he struggles with failing eyesight and his family fears for his future without a home in a village ravaged by the storm and left without a fully functioning clinic, without power, without enough food.

Jie Ann said: “We always joke with him that he’s the oldest person in this area, but I am worried about him. Everyone has been affected here, but the old people and the young have been very badly hit. It’s so stressful for my grandfather – can you imagine; you are 83 and you have nowhere to live?”

This week, the Philippine Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies began bringing vital supplies to 500 families in Anonang Norte. Jerry cans, hygiene kits, sleeping mats and tarpaulins are among the aid being distributed by staff and volunteers across northern Cebu.