For 31 days, a rusting dredging ship tossed by Typhoon Haiyan 100 metres inland into a coastal shanty town was home for seven-month-pregnant Rosita Pica and her family.
Along with 38 other families, they shared cramped spaces inside the vessel that was also home to many dead bodies. The stench of decomposition mixed with the smell of crude oil and other odours was overpowering even more than a month later.
Living conditions were bad, but there was no other choice for the 34-year-old mother of five and 190 other survivors, mostly children. Their homes had been destroyed and debris was strewn all over. There was nowhere else to shelter them from the rains and looters roaming the city in the early days of the emergency.
“We had to endure it all. We had nowhere else to go,” said Rosita, a survivor of Haiyan, the strongest cyclone to ever hit land, killing more than 6,000 people, uprooting trees and power poles and demolishing even concrete structures along its path.
Press Release, December 24, 2013