Statue of Jesus Christ Withstands Typhoon Haiyan Destruction, Provides Hope to Those Struggling to Survive

In what some are calling a sign of the almighty, a statue of Jesus Christ atop a small hill in the town of Tanauan, in the central Philippines, withstood the destruction levied by typhoon Haiyan and has become a beacon of hope in the heavily Catholic region.

Statue of Jesus Christ
Statue of Jesus Christ atop Calvary Hill in the town of Tanauan in the Philippines

Even with the complete destruction of towns and villages the statue is providing solace to the thousands affected and is seen as a sign of hope for those still struggling to survive. Tanauan is a coastal town and was hard hit by Haiyan with local residents scavenging for supplies including food and clean water.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council in the Philippines has confirmed nearly 2,000 deaths thus far. Initial estimates had put the death toll over 10,000, but revised estimates are putting the death toll closer to 5,000.

More than 600,000 people have been displaced by the typhoon, according to local agencies, while many remote areas hit by the storm were still inaccessible due to landslides and fallen trees. The town of Guiuan is home to 40,000 people and has been cut off from relief since the storm hit.

Sadly reports from relief workers dispatched to the region say many of the victims are children with one eyewitnesses revealing two out of five victims is a child.

"We are witnessing the complete devastation of a city. In Tacloban everything is flattened. Bodies litter the street, many, many of which are children. From what I saw, two out of every five bodies was that of a child. Lynette Lim, of Save the Children, told AFP.

"Children are particularly vulnerable in disasters. We fear for how many children have been washed away in floods, crushed under falling buildings and injured by flying debris," she added. "Many are separated from their families amid the devastation, and all are in desperate need of food, water and shelter."

typhoon haiyan philippines
An aerial view of the devastation of super Typhoon Haiyan after it battered Samar province in central Philippines November 11, 2013. Dazed survivors of super Typhoon Haiyan that swept through the central Philippines killing an estimated 10,000 people begged for help and scavenged for food, water and medicine on Monday, threatening to overwhelm military and rescue resources. |

It is estimated that as many as 25 million people are affected, with local reports describing houses damaged, large trees uprooted, after a storm surge of over 20 feet pushed on shore with winds reaching over 200 mph. An estimated 500,000 have been left homeless after their houses were reduced to splinters.

"There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction," Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, told the BBC. "It's absolute bedlam right now, but hopefully it will turn out better as more and more supplies get into the area."

Typhoon Haiyan
A father carries the body of his daughter to the morgue after super typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban City in Leyte province |
Typhoon Haiyan
Cargo ships washed ashore after super typhoon Haiyan hit Anibong town |
Typhoon Haiyan
Police and military personnel remove bodies from the streets of Tacloban |
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