SUPER typhoon Yolanda left not only damage of catastrophic proportions but also disaster response and resiliency lessons that survivors had to learn the hard way.
Wooden houses of poor farming and fishing communities in northern Cebu, even those built out of concrete, didn’t stand a chance against Yolanda’s powerful winds and heavy rains.
Only hours after Yolanda made landfall, one lesson seemed clear: there’s a need to build typhoon-resilient houses because a stronger house is no longer advisable, but necessary.
There is now a conscious effort to make stronger houses—thicker walls and columns, sturdier roofs—that don’t easily get blown away in case a storm as powerful as Yolanda crosses Cebu’s path again.
Last July 26, at 7:45 a.m., a water spout hit a resettlement area in Barangay Agujo, Daanbantayan town, said Engr. Melania Lazar.
By then, a model house had already been built in the area, now known as “the French Village.”
But the water spout failed to damage the duplex, Lazar said, as its roof, made of thin concrete shell, can resist strong typhoon winds.
The housing project, which can accommodate 76 households, is developed by Habitat for Humanity, France-Philippines United Action and Lafarge, a French industrial company specializing in major architectural products.
Five international Red Cross chapters are helping build houses for typhoon Yolanda survivors in the towns of Daanbantayan, Bantayan, San Remigio and Madridejos and the City of Bogo.