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Philippines marks five years since its deadliest storm


AFP
TACLOBAN
PHILIPPINE survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan recalled their terror and loss in memorial gatherings held on Thursday for the thousands killed five years ago in the country's worst storm on record.
Then the strongest typhoon to ever hit land, Haiyan left more than 7,360 people dead or missing across the central Philippines, with a tsunami-like storm surge wiping out communities and triggering a global humanitarian response.
In Tacloban, the worst-hit city, residents painted gravestones in memory of the typhoon dead. They laid flowers and lit candles at tombs and a mass grave for unidentified victims. Survivors of the calamity shed tears as they recounted how they had escaped death.
"I felt like it was the end of the world. It was like I was in a washing machine, a whirlpool. I was so afraid," Amelita Gerado, 49, told AFP, describing the onslaught of seawater that swamped her home.
"There is still pain, a scar, but we are recovering," said the woman, whose brother-in-law was among those killed.
The city government has declared November 8 a"day of remembrance and gratitude" to mark the devastation wrought by the 2013 typhoon, which highlighted how underprepared the disaster-prone nation was for large-scale calamities.

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