Waiting at Tacloban Airport

True Boots

I spent my first week in the Philippines at Tacloban Airport, where the first scenes we saw were of masses of local Filipinos waiting to evacuate the large-scale devastation of the region. When I arrived with Team Rubicon on November 12, the Philippine military and the U.S. military were running nearly continuous C-130 flights–bringing in cargo (and some passengers, including aid workers and journalists), and flying back to Manila filled to capacity with evacuees. During my entire time in the Philippines, the crowds of waiting evacuees were a persistent feature of Tacloban’s DZR Airport.

The airport terminal itself had been transformed by the storm into just a frame of a building, with metal struts hanging down into open, empty spaces. Crumbled concrete, twisted rebar, and debris were everywhere. The control tower was still standing, but all the glass was blown out of it. On the far end of the airstrip…

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