After the storm


The Philippine capital, Manila, the worst-hit victim of Typhoon Ketsana, was devastated by the storm's arrival on September 26. Ten days after the crisis began, the metropolis remains in ruins. One of our Observers there, exchange student Martin Poletiek, sent us this account and photos from Tatalon, a poor district of the capital. This information has not been verified by FRANCE 24.

The government can hardly help all the refugees — there are almost two million of them. The current death toll is around 400 — and rising, according to Gilberto Teodoro, the defence secretary. Around 320,000 people have taken refuge in schools, education centres, churches.

Tatalon (a district of Quezon City, itself a region of Metro Manila) is one of the poorest communities in the area. Most people live in hovels and don't own the land.

The 30,000 inhabitants had to evacuate after water levels rose to three metres and sparked the risk of fires from electric cables.


95 percent of the people here had their houses damaged or destroyed.

They have received no help, even a week after the storm. NGOs and the local authorities are overwhelmed by the events. We were the first to discover the devastation in this area. People begged us for rice.

They lost everything they owned, and what's left of it is now forming piles of rubbish up to two metres high in the streets.

Sanitary conditions are getting increasingly worse. The threat of an epidemic is rising.

Photos taken by Martin's fellow students, Edern Le Bris and Abigael Cheung. See more on their website.