Remembering Typhoon Haiyan: Award-Winning Video Journalists Recalls The Horror Of One Of Biggest Tropical Cyclones
(Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr)
It was one of the biggest tropical cyclones that hit the land; Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines on November 8, 2013. It took a lot of lives and created great devastation in the country's island of Visayas -- especially Tacloban. The award-winning video journalist Agnes Bun recalled the horror of the storm's aftermath, and wrote her devastating experience in her upcoming book, "There's No Poetry in a Typhoon," translated originally from French by Melanie Ho.
"It was November 2013, and we had disembarked from the military plane just after Typhoon Haiyan," Agnes Bun, who works for Agence France-Presse (AFP), narrated about her arrival in the Philippines. The journalist along with Filipino military personnel and other members of the press got welcomed by a completely destroyed island with roofless cars, fallen trees, and gaping walls. The group was about to land at Tacloban airport, but they settled down in the middle of a wrecked landing field, where the only thing left was a Philippines Airlines' sign.
"The process of covering a typhoon requires a careful balance, a certain responsibility," Agnes Bun added, via South China Morning Post. Being a video journalist in the middle of a great storm makes her see moments of "grace and unexpected beauty," but it is mostly "grim and dire." In her profession, she needs to create a unique story that has good meaning and context. So capturing Typhoon Haiyan's aftermath takes her to undergo a process of "a poetic composition" of what she sees and films from what is edited and told.
PBS: Public Broadcasting Services noted that Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest cyclone in recorded history. It slammed the country with 200 mph winds, a 20-foot high storm surge, and great floods that wiped villages and devastated cities. It got its strength from the ocean and air and became a monster typhoon about 300 miles across.
Typhoon Haiyan resulted in a large tragedy. It brought horrifying winds and heavy rains that caused the deadly, high-speed flood that killed more than 6,000 people, mostly died from drowning. Tens of thousands of houses got destroyed, dead bodies piled up, people mourned -- not just because of their dearly departed relatives and friends, but also their gone livelihood and homes.
Agnes Bun has been covering major stories and current events all over Asia for AFP. She covered the Rohingya refugee crisis and the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Her book, "There's No Poetry in a Typhoon," is published by Abbreviated Press.