In the eye of the storm: TV reporter tells his story

In the eye of the storm: TV reporter tells his story

PHILIPPINES - For the first time in the many years that I have been a television journalist, I prayed hard while I did my work, as if it were my last assignment.

My crew and I were right in the middle of the monster winds and whipping rain brought by Supertyphoon "Yolanda" in Tacloban City.

We had kept the camera rolling to document this powerful storm that would leave thousands of people dead, millions homeless, and a people realizing that in the fight between man and nature, nature always has the upper hand.

A month after Yolanda (international name: "Haiyan") struck, I can't help thinking how fortunate my team was to have survived the storm's onslaught.

Whenever I see stories about the survivors, especially the children, I am shocked at the magnitude of the devastation that the storm brought.

Yolanda was different from all other storms that I had covered.

I can never forget the waves turning sideways, to their left and smashing right onto communities, not the coastline. I would later learn that the waves pushed five or six ships into Anibong village in Tacloban, killing scores of people.

The storm surge also killed Roel Bacarra, one of three drivers we hired as soon as we arrived in the city on Nov. 6.

Roel was driving his newly acquired Mitsubishi Adventure, on his way to pick up our GMA News TV Quick Response Team (QRT) production people from their hotel when the water swallowed his vehicle.

His relatives found his body and his vehicle, as well as a laptop and lapel mic the QRT group left with him. His family returned these items to the team after informing them of Roel's death.

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