Holiday makers Philippines typhoon ordeal

A Burnley shopworker has re-lived how she survived typhoon Haiyan which has devastated the Philippines killing thousands and leaving millions homeless.

Miss Nadia Turner (29) and her French boyfriend Patrick Kasperczyk were on holiday and staying in Santa Fe, the tourist part of Bantayan Island, when the typhoon struck.

The couple were trapped in their hotel room as the flood waters began to rise and they watched in horror as they saw the terrifying force of the typhoon destroying everything around them.

They saw roofs flying off and electrical pylons falling over but amazingly only 20 people were killed in the area where they were staying.

“When we arrived we didn’t have a clue that the weather was going to be wild and stormy and was heading our way. Even then we thought it was something pretty standard and were not aware of the danger we were in,” said former Burnley College student Nadia, who works at the O2 shop in Burnley town centre.

But by 6-30 in the morning a week last Friday the wind had grown quite strong.

Two hours later they were on the fourth floor of the hotel and Nadia said: “We felt the whole building shaking. We packed up and went down.”

They spotted water pouring around in the building and starting to flood it, and Nadia added: “The whole building was quite flooded at the end of it. By 9-30am it was starting its first peak of ferocity.”

They then saw roofs flying off and electrical pylons swagging and falling over. She said: “After 10 minutes of the storm everything went really clear. People were coming out of their homes. We thought it was finishing and went out to take pictures.”

Nadia and Patrick went for a meal at a restaurant across the road but just as they finished their food the winds returned and they had to make for the safety of their hotel again. “We thought it was a safer place to be and we could see what was going on.”

They later learned that 20 people were drowned or were killed by falling debris as the typoon wreaked its havoc around them.

The following morning the mayor of the town helped them to get food and they sent a message home to their families to let them know they were OK.

On the Sunday morning, the ferries were running again and they got across to Cebu Island to get to the airport to fly home, cancelling their plans to go volcano trekking.

Nadia arrived in the UK on Wednesday morning much to the relief of her worried family and said it had been really distressing to hear how many people had died in other parts of the Philippines.

She said: “My family had been very worried by what was happening because it was publicised over here. They just wanted me to get home as soon as possible.”