Little Miracles amidst Haiyan


Guiuian, Samar - Baby Alice’s mother held tight until trees fell upon her in the storm. She was killed, and Baby Alice got lost in the storm surge. Once the storm cleared, perhaps three hours later, residents found Baby Alice floating among the debris. They hurriedly brought her to the evacuation centre. She had been scratched and bruised, but she was alive.

By Raphael Abis, IOM Guiuan

Guiuan, Samar (IOM) – The people of Guiuan took the worst of Haiyan, but there are always little miracles here and there.

When the storm surge hit Barangay Pagnamitan, it rose to over 20m. Many residents were trapped and were unable to reach the evacuation centre.

Baby Alice’s mother held tight until trees fell upon her in the storm. She was killed, and Baby Alice got lost in the storm surge. Once the storm cleared, perhaps three hours later, residents found Baby Alice floating among the debris. They hurriedly brought her to the evacuation centre. She had been scratched and bruised, but she was alive.


IOM distributes essential non-food items to the 11 families at the Pagnamitan Evacuation Centre in Guiuan, Samar. Centre residents received tarpaulins, rope, blankets, 20-gallon jerry cans, buckets, and water dippers.

There are currently 11 families at the Pagnamitan Evacuation Centre. IOM learned of Baby Alice’s story during the distribution of much-needed non-food items (NFIs). Centre residents received tarpaulins, rope, blankets, 20-gallon jerry cans, buckets, and water dippers. Along with the residents, the local mayor expressed his appreciation and support.

During the day, the men in the centre would return to their villages to salvage scraps and do repair work. The women and children stay in the protected area. Baby Alice is now under the care of a barangay counselor in the community, temporarily adopting her until a permanent solution can be found.