To study the strength of Hurricane Yolanda, team members Andrew Kennedy and Shenen Chen traveled to Guiuan, Eastern Samar, to measure the rock movements. Because of the tidal waves, many large boulders have been deposited on the beach. Two Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers members, Emelyn D. Amigo and Nessy Jade P. Geroy, both engineers from the regional Department of Public Works and Highways, joined us in the study. With their help, we measured the size of several boulders and took pictures with a GPS camera to identify the rock locations.
Guiuan is a rural town and the first landing point of Yolanda. Again, we saw several collapsed structures and tents donated for displaced people. Trying to find a hotel was a real challenge because of the influx of United Nations volunteers and helpers from other nations. We managed to find a hotel a two-hour drive away (rough roads).
It rained in the morning and we were concerned that we might not get any work done. But it finally stopped raining and we ended up with a very productive day.
On our last day in the disaster area, we drove around and looked at the damaged structures in Guiuan including the police station, municipal hall, regional office of Department of Public Works and Highways, public market places and bus stations. All of the inspected structures sustained severe wind damage.
We drove by a bridge and saw kids swimming in the water and diving off the bridge. It is refreshing to see children laughing and having fun. A testimony that the local people are rebounding from the disaster.
We rushed to the Tacloban airport to catch our flight home and so we did not have time to have lunch. But we gave a quick farewell to all of our friends. We did not have time to shop for souvenirs but managed to buy a few can openers that said “Tindog Tacloban,” which translates as “Rise up Tacloban.” We certainly echo the message and hope the people who survived the disaster can overcome and prosper.