Survivors struggle to salvage pieces of lives, belongings...
BINITAYAN -- Christian Malsi used to admire the orchids and ornamental cactuses his aunt had been growing under the shade of a mango tree on the slopes of the Mayon volcano.
A powerful typhoon last week changed the view forever: his house, like most others in Binitayan, a riverside community in Daraga town in Albay province, was buried up to the roof under the tons of loose black sand and mud unleashed by rains.
Gone too is the mango tree, toppled, leafless, its bark and branches shredded in pieces, like the lives of more than 1,000 people feared dead in landslides that ravaged the region.
Official figures showed 526 dead, 1,000 injured and 740 missing. More than 1 million people in 13 eastern provinces were affected, and about 20,000 have gone to evacuation centers.
"It's all gone," Malsi, a 20-year-old hardware shop bagger, said as he stood on the top of the wall of his living room, where the roof used to be. "We can't live here anymore."
Like many of his neighbors, he, his younger sister, aunt and uncle saved only their lives and some clothes on their backs.
Neighbor Joel Bejo, meanwhile, was digging like a treasure hunter, gingerly removing the sand from around a metal TV stand. He had earlier salvaged his TV and a few clothes. Standing in the middle of a three-meter (10-foot) hole, he was searching for his wife's sewing machine.
The entire article at INQ7.net