5 years ago-- sometimes feels like it was yesterday, sometimes feels like a distant life. My memories of Haiyan have come up daily recently, usually during interviews for residency. Every time it's remarkably painful to re-insert myself into those times and reflect, but I must talk about it because it was the moment that really changed my course in life. I haven't been the same after Haiyan, both in good and unideal ways. Ultimately, it is my fuel and my perspective for going into emergency medicine and working in austere environments. To not talk about it would betray my narrative, and more importantly the narrative of the community I love, my friends who are still recovering, and my friends who didn't make it. I wasn't expecting this photo to pop up on my feed this morning--when a photo of Anibong resurfaces it is not a pleasant experience for me--but I'm grateful that in all that pain is energy to speak, process, and grow.
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Photos by @simoncroberts | Each year, natural disasters damage or destroy the homes of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc across much of the central Philippines. In the city of Tacloban, thousands of people were killed when the storm surge destroyed dwellings and washed giant container ships ashore. Survivors were left homeless and without access to clean water and sanitation facilities.
I made two visits to one of the regions worst hit by Haiyan, first a few weeks after the typhoon struck, and then a year later. The photographs, which transition between these two time periods, are not just about conveying the immensity of the disaster but also show how the physical, tangible transformation of land is related to a human response to the typhoon.
Follow @simoncroberts to see more photographs from this series and other works. #SimonRoberts #TyphoonHaiyan #TaclobanCity #Anibong