|VSU Eco-park: a showcase of native tree species.|
Typhoon Yolanda was a very frightening experience even at Visayas State University (VSU) in Baybay City, Leyte. That's about 109 kilometers from Tacloban City. My family endured Yolanda's wrath for 4 hours -- from 5 A.M. to 9 A.M. on November 8, 2013 -- and we thought we experienced the worst of the super-typhoon.
While the world saw what Visayas went through on that particular day, we had no idea about the extent of the devastation caused by Yolanda in other parts of the region. Telecommunications were down and VSU was without electricity. There was no way for us to get news about and from the outside world. It was a very depressing situation. I was worried for my parents and for my relatives in Samar, a nearby island. No matter how desperate I was to hear from them, I had no other choice but to wait for things to go back to their normal state. For how long, I had no idea.
On November 9, we went out early in the morning to see the whole campus (we live in the residential area of the school). We saw destruction all over the place -- most of the roads were impassable, some buildings were roofless, and big old trees were uprooted.
|Gazebo: favorite venue for weddings and pre-nuptial photos.|
The vine arches were ruined during the typhoon.
|The road near Banahao Dormitory was blocked by fallen trees.|
|Part of the Guest House was destroyed.|
|Ground floor of the Center for Continuing Education (CCE) building|
located near the beach.
|Outside of the CCE Building.|
|The big tree in front of the Math and Science Building was an|
important landmark of VSU Laboratory High School.
|One area of the Math and Science Building of the|
VSU Laboratory High School was roofless.
|The acacia trees at the lower campus were not spared by Yolanda.|
Things have improved at VSU since then: classes resumed on November 25 and there is electricity within the campus from 5:30 P.M. to 12:00 A.M. Most importantly, trees have recovered and the campus has turned green again.