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Displaced typhoon survivors seek shelter among the dead while waiting for help

November 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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GWEN IFILL: There were some slow signs of recovery in the typhoon-ravaged Philippines today, as some markets and gas stations reopened. But UN officials warned some islands still haven’t even been reached.

We have a report from Angus Walker of Independent Television News.

ANGUS WALKER: They’re living with the dead. They found sanctuary in a cemetery, sleeping on top of tombs.

These crypts are now homes for nine families. Tess Tate tells me she used to live in Scotland. Her British husband died 11 years ago and she returned to the Philippines. Now she’s lost everything. She sees the bodies recovered from the typhoon being brought in for burial.

WOMAN: Really terrible, but nothing we can do.

ANGUS WALKER: In two of the fresh graves, Christian, again 7, and Jim Philip, 4 years old. The boys had been told they’d be safer in this car before the typhoon hit. In all, eight children and two adults squeezed inside. Only one child survived, their 9-year-old brother.

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Their father, Noel Baguyan, tell its me believes it was God’s will that he lost two of his three sons.

A new life, a week-old, her family living hand-to-mouth in the ruins of their house they now share with homeless neighbors, among them, Imelda Britencio, a mother of seven. Her husband was killed.

WOMAN (through interpreter): Really difficult. Very painful. I miss him very much.

ANGUS WALKER: In a city of death, signs of life return every day. Survival goes on, searching for things to sell. Market stalls offered scavenged stock, repairs and recovery now clearly under way.