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IRDR Special Report on Transitional Recovery and Reconstruction in the Eastern Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda

23 May 2014

IRDR Special Report 2014-01 image of Typhoon Yolanda damage

In March 2014, four months after Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), a collaborative field survey between UCL-IRDR and Tohoku University-IRIDeS was conducted in order to compare the effects of domestic and imported aid and assistance on the quality and speed of recovery and the vulnerability during the transitional phase between the initial emergency and long-term recovery and reconstruction. The team, comprised of Dr. Joanna Faure Walker and Prof. David Alexander from UCL-IRDR, Mr Joshua Macabuag from UCL-EPICentre and Dr. Anawat Suppasri from IRIDeS at Tohoku University, conducted interviews and accompanying structural engineering surveys of the respondents' dwellings for 160 households in 12 coastal barangays (districts) in Leyte, Eastern Visayas. Initial findings from the survey show:

  • Regarding evacuation, the system of using barangay leaders to disseminate warnings appeared successful in terms of reaching people, although in many cases the severity of the storm surge was underestimated.
  • Men were more likely than women to remain at home in order to protect belongings.
  • It appears the cash distributions from an INGO were highly useful in allowing the purchase of materials and tools for temporary reconstruction; however, it likely stimulated inflation in their prices.
  • Property insurance is very sparse in the Philippines and the surveys highlighted the lack of awareness of such options, despite potential enthusiasm for them.
  • Almost all interviewees knew about the 40m no-build zones, but this policy does not reflect variations in hazard associated with the variable topography of the coastline.
  • Those within the no build zones seemed to have little idea about where or when they would relocate while most households outside these zones wanted to stay in situ.
  • More than half of the temporary shelters examined were built without the aid of professional advice or help leading to people living in precarious, makeshift conditions.
  • Training programs are needed in the early stages of the transitional phase of recovery

Download the full report (pdf)