Once again the series, “Through my eyes Natural disaster zones”, has achieved its goal. In an excellent production, this story for young people gives children an immediate and inside view of what exactly happens when there is a natural disaster. The story is told by a fourteen year old Philippine girl, Angel. The story has been checked carefully for authenticity, and dates and facts are accurate. Indeed, a Timeline at the back of the book verifies all the facts given.
Angel is a very happy girl. It is her fourteenth birthday and the family will have a great celebration over dinner. However, there is a Government warning that a typhoon is about to approach her island. The people there have faced many such dangers and prepare themselves as best they can to withstand the huge winds and rain that is approaching. Because the typhoon is a seasonal occurrence, the families have their plans and tie down any moving thing and drag their boats away from the shore.
Unfortunately, the typhoon develops into a Super Typhoon and is named Yolanda. The date is 8th November 2013 and when the wind slams into the city, the gusts are in excess of 298 km per hour with tidal surges measuring up to 5 metres. Tacloban City and coastal towns are flattened. It is here that we see, smell, and experience what Angel saw. She was lucky to be washed up to her roof when the surge came through and finished up clinging on to a telegraph pole with her neighbour. Her mother and brothers had gone to stay with the grandparents, but her father, who was home with her, was nowhere to be found.
From now on Angel has to decide how to reunite with her family, how to navigate the rubble that was her town, and how to survive with no water or food. What she sees, thinks and does is explained clearly, although there are no graphic details about death. The issues that arise are dealt with, and looters are to be avoided. Her tenacity sees Angel overcome many difficulties and use rational thinking to solve many everyday problems.
Beginning with the map at the start of the story, and the timeline at the end, we have a great sense of where this happened and how many people suffered. Unfortunately, the timeline is still showing that in 2018 many people have not been relocated.
|Author||Zoe Daniel, edited by Lyn White|
|Publisher||Allen and Unwin Childrens|
|Distributor||Allen and Unwin Childrens|