Domed refuge now cauldron of misery for survivors

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 14, 2013 at 9:57 am •  Published: November 14, 2013
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"We have no choice," says Moses Rosilio, a neighbor who is squatting in the restaurant with Martinez.

Her baby is due by the end of the month. She has no idea where she'll deliver.

"I'm feeling nervous," she says. "There are no clothes for my baby. ... I don't know, I don't know. Maybe I'll give birth here."

In the wreckage of a discotheque next door, facing the street in front of the stadium, a few men have built a small fire to cook noodles. The pot will need to feed a dozen people today.

Nearby, Vicky Arcales, 38, uses a hand-crank charger for her mobile phone. She shakes her arm in exhaustion; she's been at it for three hours. She knows she won't get a signal anyway, but charges it nonetheless. Just in case.

Behind her, a family has crafted a makeshift baby cot out of a pink-and-white-striped sheet, strung up by cords. It cradles a month-old boy in a shirt, but no diaper; they have none, and no other clothes. Nor do they have food for his mother, who is starving.

The baby stares up at visitors and urinates, the urine seeping through the sheet onto the floor below. A few feet away, a 1-year-old girl wails, her face covered in a red rash. There is no medicine for her.

Inside the dome, Erlinda Rosales lies on a steel barrier propped atop the railing and stadium seats, next to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This is their makeshift bed. They are cooking a little nearby on a small burner borrowed from a friend.

Rosales, 72, is one of the lucky ones: Her family has finally received the first supply of relief food. But it was only because her granddaughter has walked every day to their village council to see if the supplies are there. On Thursday's walk, the food was finally available. They got 3 kilograms (7 pounds) of rice and three cans of sardines.

"I wonder when they will bring food here," she says.

Daniel Legaspi has less than Rosales, but more than some other people. The 16-year-old holds up a packet of squeezy cheese, powdered biscuits and cream.

"We don't have bread, but we have the fillings," he says with a laugh.