For a Living Ocean

Unclear how the Typhoon Haiyan has Affected the Bajau

The typhoon Haiyan hit the central parts of Philippines on November 8, and it is estimated that 5 000 people have died and more than 600 000 have been left homeless.

The last days many people have asked me how my friends in Davao have been affected by the storm – and I am happy to inform you that their village in Matina Aplaya were not hit. I have spoken to some members of the community and they told me that it rained and blew more than usual, but that their lives continue as usual. Davao City is located in the southern part of the Philippines, outside the area where the typhoon hit.

However, there are many Bajau Laut communities on islands like Cebu, Bohol and Leyte that were badly hit by the typhoon. It is not clear how these stilt villages have been affected. Most Bajau Laut in central Philippines are refugees from the long-going unrest in the Sulu Sea, located in the southwestern part of the Philippines. they have lived in poverty for a long time and this disaster has probably worsened their situation

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Families of Indigenous Filipino Badjao seek refuge inside a gymnasium turned into an evacuation center during a heavy downpour brought by Typhoon Haiyan in Cebu province, Philippines, Nov. 8. (Jay Rommel Labra/EPA)

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