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Guiuan, January 27 2014 — Guiuan was the first municipality to be hit by Haiyan.  Caught directly in the centre of the storm, Guiuan experienced wind gusts of nearly 380 km per hour (235 mph), and sustained wind speeds of 315 km per hour (195 mph).

Soon after the typhoon struck and in preparing for a long road towards recovery, Guiuan’s local government requested UN-Habitat to assist with transitioning from an emergency phase, to recovery and sustainable development.  Nearly 1400 people were temporarily relocated after Haiyan, many who were now residing in temporary make-shift tents unable to withstand the elements.

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Barely recovered from the effects of Typhoon Haiyan, Guiuan experienced additional rainfall caused by a tropical depression (Lingling) last week. 30% of emergency shelter tents reportedly collapsed, causing families to evacuate to vacant bunkhouses and warehouses. This highlights the need to provide more durable and resilient housing for those affected by Haiyan and still living in disaster-prone areas. The Municipality of Guiuan and UN-Habitat are currently co-leading the Guiuan Recovery and Sustainable Development Group, ensuring that the humanitarian assistance in Guiuan supports long term sustainable development and urban planning.

To see pictures of the Guiuan Recovery and Sustainable Development Group in action please visit our photo gallery.

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Tacloban, January 23 2014 — Climate change is a global phenomenon, but certain population groups and communities are more severely affected by its impact. UN-HABITAT Project Coordinator, Priscella Mejillano, explains how and why these groups are vulnerable to climate change, and proposes possible solutions.

Despite warnings from local officials, Typhoon Haiyan surprised many coastal communities when it swept across the Philippines on November 8, 2013. The disaster caused unimaginable devastation.

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COMMUNITY MAPS Local officials and community leaders present UN-Habitat with detailed maps of damages caused by Typhoon Haiyan.

Iloilo, January 21 2014 — As UN-Habitat’s Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Response team makes its way across the severely damaged terrain left in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, affected communities are coming forward with their own personal damage assessments.

Forty-two maps drawn by hand by several barangays (communities) across Iloilo province in Region VI of the Philippines detail each home in the community, the extent of damage, and other landmarks in the area. Their supporting visuals and first hand accounts have been instrumental in UN-Habitat’s damage assessment, which will form the basis for implementation of coming projects and programmes.

“The process encourages local and community ownership of the assessment results”, says Reneiro Flores of UN-Habitat.

UN-Habitat has been actively surveying disaster affected areas and interviewing local officials and communities to understand the scope of the devastation. The maps will be vital in helping UN-Habitat assess the needs of each community. “The tool is location-specific and damage-category specific. It provides a detailed assessment of the situation and needs,” says Flores.

UN-Habitat will continue working with affected communities to provide critical support and technical expertise on building back safer shelters and settlements.

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For additional photos of maps from other communities, please visit our photo gallery.

Manila, January 20 2014 — Two days after the super typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, UN-Habitat as part of the wider UN system in the country deployed two teams on the ground to assess the extent of the damage to housing in collaboration with national and local government.

Tacloban, January 20 2014 — An infographic from Sheltercluster.org puts the urban damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan into picture.

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