Tacloban: Summit to learn from Typhoon Haiyan

Vice Mayor Yoakasin met with the architect and urban planner James Jao
Aerial view of Tacloban after Typhoon Haiyan
Credits: Flickr/Russell Watkins/Department for International Development

In the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, the City of Tacloban - capital of the Philippine province of Leyte - will hold a summit to share both successes and failures during the Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda). Mayors and other public representatives are invited to come to talk about the lessons learned for disaster risk management. “We intend to hold a summit for all people in government and especially the cities that have the same geography like our city and to share with them our experience”, the Vice-Mayor, Jerry “Sambo” Yoakasin, said.

The call for a summit comes from the recognition by the city authorities that, at the time of the evacuation, there were several barriers to compliance with the procedures. The Vice-Mayor said one contributing factor to the loss of 3,000 lives in Tacloban was that people did not understand what a storm surge was and there was a need to explain it to people “in the vernacular”. Many people refused to evacuate, some reluctant to abandon their homes and those who did not believe there was any significant danger.

In order to introduce new affordable housing which is both typhoon and tidal surge resistant, Vice Mayor Jerry Yoakasin plans to transform the housing market in Tacloban. In the video below, Yoakasin explains what he learned from Typhoon Haiyan: