Philippines village celebrates 'miracle' storm shelter

Cangumbang village is located 11 miles south of typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban.
Cangumbang village is located 11 miles south of typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban. Photo: ITV News

The residents of a small Philippines village hit by the powerful Typhoon Haiyan are celebrating a "miracle" after they all survived thanks to a storm shelter built there earlier this year.

Cangumbang, located around 11 miles (17.7km) south of the devastated city of Tacloban, was hit directly by record wind speeds of up to 200mph, but miraculously, every one of its 300 residents survived, due to work that was started by a charity before the storm hit.

China Correspondent Angus Walker reports.

Authorities estimate more than 3,900 people were killed in the Philippines when the super typhoon made landfall on 8 November.

Tropical storms and typhoons in previous years struck Cangumbang hard, with many homes being damaged or lost.

Although the rood was ripped off during the typhoon, the storm shelter stayed standing.
Although the rood was ripped off during the typhoon, the storm shelter stayed standing. Credit: ITV News

That devastation led American volunteer Elsa Thomasma to begin fundraising drive to build a storm shelter.

Ms Thomasma, now dubbed "the woman who saved a village", raised over $40,000 to ensure the project was completed by the end of August.

Although the roof was ripped off during the typhoon, everyone sheltering beneath survived as their homes were swept away in the storm.

Ms Thomasma told ITV News Asia Correspondent Angus Walker:

I'm just so thankful that we built the centre in the way we did and that it was ready in time.

The children are like my children so, to be able to still have them here and be able to see them whenever I want ... it's just a great feeling to know they are OK.