More than a month after Typhoon Hayian ended 6,000 lives and displaced four million more, the Philippine people are still struggling to begin their recovery. In the videos below, three New York Times photographers recount their coverage of a nation in the aftermath of disaster.
Noting the area’s agrarian economy, Bryan Denton describes the devastation done to the coconut forests of Guiuan, a peninsula on Samar Island. “They say that in the aftermath of the typhoon, with so many trees gone,” he says, “that its going to be five to 10 years before you’ll have the same level of output you had before the typhoon.”
Despite the calamitous landscape, Mr. Denton finds solace in the fact that, as he went to sleep on Samar, he could hear the sounds of hammers working to undo Hayian’s damage.
With no access to electricity and only the water they brought with them, Sergey Ponomarev and his fellow photographers found themselves living much like the grief-stricken Filipinos they came to cover. At the airport, one of the few structures still standing on the island of Tacloban, there were lines of people waiting to flee, and groups of journalists sleeping on the tarmac. “In the pictures,” he says, “you see a lot of destruction, and the people that are trying to make their living through the rubble.
“Vehicles were thrown like matchboxes on top of roofs and all over the road,” says Jes Aznar, “as if Mother Nature had a major tantrum-fit.” Mr. Aznar portrays a horrific landscape of a country transformed and a people who seem marooned without refuge. “Surviving the wrath of the storm when it made landfall was one thing,” says Jes Aznar, “living through the darkness and hunger would be another.”