One year after Haiyan, relief efforts show progress - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

One year after Haiyan, relief efforts show progress

Jon Matsuoka Jon Matsuoka
Dr. Seiji Yamada Dr. Seiji Yamada
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The devastation of Super Typhoon Haiyan can still be seen a year after the mega storm unleashed devastation on the Philippines.

"It looked like Hiroshima after the war," Jon Matsuoka said.

As CEO of the Consuelo Foundation, Matsuoka has helped rebuilding efforts in areas hardest hit by Haiyan. When he was there recently, he saw progress.

"I saw a lot of activity, people were rebuilding. A lot of construction was going on. A lot of activity," he said.

With the foundation's help villagers have repaired homes and schools and other structures.

"We've done things from building fishing boats in fisher communities to organic farming," he said.

Dr. Seiji Yamada has gone there twice with Ohana Medical Missions. He agrees there has been progress but hopes Philippine authorities do more medically.

"What we would certainly like to see for these rural areas and fishing villages of the Philippines is a more robust primary care health system that provides both preventive and good primary care services," he said.

The Philippines are in a zone prone to natural disasters. Haiyan won't be the last.

"There's a lot that we have learned in the way of planning, in the way of construction, that has to be done very differently," Matsuoka said.

Hawaii fund raising for Haiyan victims topped $3 million. The Consuelo Foundation is doling it out through local governments.

"We decided to invest in those places where we felt we had a bond, where we can trust the local entities," Matsuoka said.

November 8 marks a year since Haiyan.

"There's signs everywhere of the disaster but Filipinos are incredibly resilient," Matsuoka said.

Thanksgiving night on KGMB, journalist Emme Tomimbang's special "Haiyan...After the Storm" will show that resilience, rebuilding efforts, and how much more still needs to be done.

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