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Malapascua Island, a popular diving island in the Philippines, was “leveled” by Typhoon Yolanda, also known as Typhoon Haiyan.
“The island is leveled. The typhoon did not spare anyone; all houses lost their roofs,” Sonia de Dios of Blue Corals Resort told The Freeman.
Boats began ferrying passengers to and from the island on Sunday.
Malapascua lost its power and all communication facilities.
According to a Facebook page set up to help get relief goods to the island, most of the homes have been destroyed and the resorts near Bounty Beach sustained a great deal of damage from the typhoon, but there are no reported deaths.
On Monday, food and water resources were dwindling further, said the people running the page. Among the materials they are looking for: temporary shelter materials such as tarps and tents; blankets; flashlights and batteries; and canned goods.
The destruction was commented on by the international diving community on a forum, where pictures were shared of the scene.
“Very sad. I met some great people on Malapscua earlier this year, I hope the damage is not as bad as it looks,” said one user.
“We just cancelled our trip to Malapascua, supposed to stay at the Legend,” said another. “We don’t think now is a good time to go unless we can offer help to them. In stead of getting a refund, we ask the dive shop who handles our booking to distribute the money to the staffs on the island.”
Lisa Trenorden and Damian Dep, residents of Broome in Australia, were on the island on a scuba diving holiday when the typhoon hit.
Trenorden told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that since a lot of typhoons come through the area, some people advised them to stay while others urged them to leave.
So they waited out the typhoon in a concrete bunker, and when they emerged, everything appeared to be destroyed, Trenorden said.
“The whole resort that we were in was just covered, and all the trees were down, all the palm trees were down; branches of the trees, and roofs from resorts next door blowing into our yard,” she said.
“The whole village and the island is pretty much made of wood, so all of it was just flattened, everything was gone. Most of the resorts are concrete-based with wooden structures at the top, so all the concrete bases were fine but everything else was gone.”
She said that everyone got through the storm unscathed.
“Nobody was hurt; nobody was killed on the island, [people were] looking pretty resilient, really.”