On November 8, 2013, supertyphoon Yolanda – dubbed by many as the strongest typhoon in recorded history – hit the Philippine islands. Days before it was predicted to make a landfall, people had already began filling their supply cabinets with necessary supplies. This was in part due to rumors that the typhoon was going to be much stronger than Ruping. Typhoon Ruping hit the Philippines more than two decades ago. The devastating typhoon crippled Cebu and forced it to its knees. It took the entire province at least a year to fully recover. As the typhoon drew closer, classes and work were suspended and people were advised to make all the necessary preparations in their homes. The typhoon was expected to hit the northern towns of Daanbantayan, Bantayan Island, Camotes, Bogo, San Remigio, and Medellin. People who lived in coastal areas were also evacuated and emergency supplies were readied. People were told to expect the worst, hope for the best, and get ready for the biggest natural calamity to ever hit the Philippines in our lifetime.
Aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda – Cebu City – November 8, 2013
Calm before the storm. Less than 24 hours before Yolanda hit Cebu.
8 am, November 8, 2013. Rain and moderate winds in Cebu. Yolanda was expected to hit between 10 am and 1 pm.
View of V. Rama Avenue right before the typhoon.
At around 10 am, wind speeds started to increase. Nearby trees started swaying and GI sheets started creaking. I was pretty scared because our house is rather old and the one behind it (my grandparents’ house) was much older. If this was going to be like Ruping, there’s no chance these two houses were going to remain standing.
By 11 am, the winds were howling. The house was literally trembling. In the distance, I could hear GI sheets flying and landing a few moments later somewhere. Branches of trees behind the house started breaking and hitting roofs. Our kitchen floor was flooded. The wind was growing stronger by the minute. I was certain that if the winds did not slow down, we would be spending the rest of the weekend in a roofless house.
As the destructive typhoon ravaged Cebu and other nearby islands, there was nothing we could do but wait and pray. The whole ordeal lasted for at least an hour.
Fortunately, Cebu City did not experience the typhoon’s super-strength. In fact, by 2 pm, the sky had started to clear and it had become a little brighter.
Immediately after the rain stopped, we went out to survey the damages in our community. And this was what we saw first. One of the oldest trees in our area had collapsed on a fence which in turned collapsed on a parked Toyota Altis.
The car is in there somewhere.
I then got on my bike and drove around the midtown area.
Here’s Escario street looking all too quiet right after the storm.
Nearby residents who decided to take refuge at the Cebu Provincial Capitol can be seen leaving the premises for their homes when the weather cleared.
Jones Avenue after the storm.
Trucks parked at the Fuente Osmeña circle.
A tree collapsed on and destroyed this portion of the perimeter fence of the park.
The currently being constructed 2013 Christmas Tree was not spared. Back to square one for the workers.
A portion of the circle remained flooded hours after the storm.
Ramos Street littered with twigs, leaves, and branches.
The Abellana-CNU skywalk was also not spared.
Steel perimeter fences at the Cebu Business Park were also destroyed by the typhoon.
Portions of the CBP were covered with sandbag to prevent flooding.
The fence covering the main entrance of the second phase was also destroyed.
View of the 2nd Phase of the mall. Opening this December!
An old tree near the Magellan’s Cross kiosk collapsed on the steel fence. Thank god it didn’t hit the kiosk!
Good news, though. The kiosk is now undergoing reconstruction/repair. It was slightly damaged by the earthquake last October 15.
All in all, I can say that the typhoon wasn’t a supertyphoon at all. The damages in Cebu City were very minor. And our house survived!
And then I saw updates from people living in the northern part. That’s when I realized how powerful that typhoon really was. It’s sad to see what our brothers and sisters had to go through. I’m very thankful that it did not directly hit the Cebu City. Here are some internet photos I managed to find. Credit to their respective owners.
Strong winds knocked over this delivery van in Bogo City.
The newly-completed Bogo City Hall is now in need of intensive repairs.
Gaisano Bogo looks like it was hit by a tornado.
A gasoline station in Bogo City looked like a giant foot stepped on it.
An elementary school in Medellin was flattened by Yolanda.
Aerial of the Medellin sports complex.
The Daanbantayan market. Daanbantayan is one of the worst-hit areas in Cebu.
Aerial shot of the town church in Bantayan.
Madridejos is in a really bad state.
Typhoon Yolanda pulverized houses and structures surrounding the Sante Fe church in Bantayan Island.
That evening, we decided to donate some clothes to some evacuees housed in Barangay Tinago. They are some of the earliest evacuees from Tacloban and Leyte.
Monitoring Chart of evacuees at the Tinago Gym.