In the backstreets of Tanuan, Juan Coleas is picking through the debris of his home. All that remains is a pile of splintered wood littered with clothes and the family’s possessions. His son Joey is already hammering together a rudimentary frame that that they will cover in a tarpaulin to provide some temporary shelter.
“There were 12 of us living here in three houses. We have lost everything,” Coleas says. Outside his wife is washing clothes in a basin of dirty water, surrounded by debris and mud.
The air is thick with the smell of decomposing bodies. It’s not known how many people remain buried under the debris.
Juan Coleas is staying with his neighbour Felicisisimo Pica, a retired civil engineer, who owns the only house in the street still standing.
“I am housing about 50 people,” Pica says. “We share what food we have and cook together. As Filipinos, this is the way that we can get through this disaster, as a community. Without hope, what do we have left?”
Read about the Red Cross’ response in Tanuan, Philippines, here.