+++ First news coverage from Tacloban +++

Media coordinator Margret Müller reports

by Margret Müller,  2013/11/13

Together with a humedica medical team, media coordinator Margret Müller from Berlin has been in Tacloban for three days now. This town has almost been razed by the super typhoon “Haiyan”. At the moment, the inhabitants are struggling against unconceivable physical and emotional distress. In her first report from Tacloban, Margret Müller talks about this city and its inhabitants and draws a picture of dramatic destruction:

“Suddenly, in the morning, there is much noise of cars. People have started tapping the gas station. They are waiting quite orderly in queues in order to fill their jerrycans. The streets are full. An uncountable number of people are on their way to the airport. “Away from here!” They fear, what still might come.

A short while later, the army has taken the control over the gas station. But the anxious atmosphere persists.

With the help of the Philippian army, the humedica team reached the crisis region Leyte. Photo: humedica/Margret Müller

We build up our hospital next to our residence, in order to minimize security risks. Rapidly, word has spread, that there are doctors in the neighborhood. Once again, we notice that the communication among the people and the spread of news work well.

They alarm each other by drum signals. This system of communication surely also contributes to the feeling of anxiety which is in the air.

Today, we have installed our hospital in a quiet place, quite like an oasis, and which enables us to work in an intact front garden and to offer a breather to our patients, too. Once again, we are, above all busy treating wounds. Even small wounds may become very dangerous for the people. Many of them don’t have shoes and walk barefoot or in thongs through brackish water and rubbish-heaps.

Our aim is to treat these infected wounds, to clean them, to abrade and dress them. Sometimes we have to make little operations. We also give antibiotics to the patients, so that they will recover from the dangerous infections.

Today, we saw the distribution of water and people who dried rice. Nevertheless, the lack in food and water is obvious. What is more important? Security? Food? Drinking? Hygiene? Where shall we start?

In the night, we talk about our impressions during the day, about the numerous people, smells, pictures, encounters and try to come to terms with all that. We have quite lost our appetite. During the day, we cannot eat or drink in front of our patients. How do they sleep now? On the cold and wet soil? Where do the children sleep, who are looking for their parents? What do they eat?

How long can the people walk in the sun, without water on the long way to the airport? How long can they wait in this endless queue of people? How do the people manage to wear clean clothes all the time? How are they able to live in this decay scent?

How do they cope with the trauma they have experienced during the terrible hours of storm, of flood waves, of floating in the waves, of fighting for survival and of seeing people die? How can they change into the survival mode without losing their smile?

In the evening, Leny, our host, tells us about her fears for her city, which she loves so much and for her country, which has been struck by one catastrophe after the other and about her fear for her family. It is breaking her heart to see, that more and more people see flight as the only way of escape. How shall this country ever rise again? The last catastrophe, an earthquake happened not long ago.

Who is still staying back? The next catastrophe might hit the country before everyday life is back to normal. Where can the inhabitants of this city go to cope with their trauma? Where can they start to build up their existence, once again? How can they make a step forward?

Many of these things will always stay obscure to me. At the same time, we are so grateful for every extra smile, for every moment, in which they can talk about their experiences and express their distress, for every kind of help, every hope for life, every attention, every relief and hopefully recovery, which we can give to these people.

It will always be only a drop in the bucket, but many drops can fill it! That’s why we still need much more drops. For this, we need your help!

Dear friends and supporters please help the people in the Philippines in their hard time with a directed donation and become a savior in emergency. Thank you very much!

      humedica e. V.
      Reference “Typhoon Philippines”
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

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