Typhoon survivor Rosalie tells her story in Philippines

ShelterBox - Thu, 14 Feb 2013 16:47 GMT
Author: ShelterBox
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Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Typhoon survivor Rosalie tells her story in PhilippinesSRT member Liz Odell (UK) with ShelterBox beneficiaries in Baganga, Mindanao Island, Philippines, February 2013. 

Rosalie Ticala

'I used to live in a small house across the creek over there, together with my husband Abundio, and my six children: Rudyard Voune (13), Vinsun Mark (12), Reynel John (10), Christian (9), Anthony (3) and 11-month-old baby James.

'We had heard on the TV that there was a typhoon coming but we didn’t worry as we had never had a typhoon here before, so we didn’t make any preparations. The wind and rain started to get very loud at about four in the morning, then at seven we realised that the stream had turned into a raging torrent and was flooding very fast and coming towards our house. We ran away from the house and escaped to some higher ground, where we found shelter on the top floor of a two-storey house.

'We were trapped in the house for two days until someone came and rescued us in a boat, and we were taken to the local gymnasium which was being used as an evacuation centre. We stayed there for a week but it was so crowded that we decided to leave and go back to the ruins of our house. It proved impossible to live there as well, so we left after another week and spent the next five weeks staying with relatives until we were given a ShelterBox tent at the end of January. 

'My son Christian injured his foot really badly on some broken glass as we were escaping from the flood and he is still unable to attend school. We are all traumatised, especially the children who get frightened when it rains heavily and don’t want to go to school. 

Collapsed home in Davao Oriental province, Mindanao Island, Philippines, February 2013.

'I don’t know what the future holds. We are not allowed to go back and live in the place where our old house stood as the government says it’s at risk of flooding if there is another typhoon. We will have to find somewhere else to live and build a house there, but I don’t know when. Meanwhile we will stay here in our ShelterBox tent.' 

33-year-old Rosalie Ticala is one of the thousands of Typhoon Pablo survivors ShelterBox has been helping on Mindanao Island in the Philippines since it struck in December. A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) recently visited the town of New Bataan in Compostela Valley, one of the hardest-hit areas, where SRT member Liz Odell (UK) met Rosalie and her family.

'Here there was less wind damage than on the coast in Davao Oriental province but the town was flooded when the torrential rains cascaded down the nearby mountains,' said Liz. 'A huge flash flood was caused that moved giant boulders along what was once a small creek. Rosalie and her family have shown resilience and strength considering their circumstances.'