PHOTO ESSAY: Looking Back – Tropical Storm ‘Sendong’

Exactly 10 years ago, Tropical Storm “Sendong” (international name: “Washi”) made landfall in the municipality of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur in the afternoon of 16 December 2011. It then moved west towards Agusan del Sur and Bukidnon. But it wreaked the worst damage in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan as it struck at night, bringing with it rampaging floodwaters that caught residents off guard, many of them already well asleep late in the night. Over a thousand people perished, and some more still missing as many were swept into the sea.

Here are some of the pictures that MindaNews captured.

Members of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division rescue team bring a child to safety in Barangay Gusa in Cagayan de Oro City after floodwaters coming from the mountains engulfed several of the city’s barangays. MindaNews photo by ERWIN MASCARINAS
Neighbors rescue an elderly woman in Barangay Consolacion, which is beside the Cagayan de Oro River. MindaNews photo by ERWIN MASCARINAS
Rescue workers gather the dead in Barangay Consolacion the morning after “Sendong” hit Northern Mindanao. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
An Air Force helicopter fly by the collapsed Mandulog Bridge in Iligan City. Illegal logs trapped beneath the bridge at first prevented the water from flowing downstream. But when it collapsed, the water rose suddenly in the middle of the night, killing hundreds as residents were caught off guard. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
This passenger jeepney was no match to the strong currents of Mandulog River at the height of Tropical Storm “Sendong” in Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Even large trucks couldn’t handle the strong currents of the flood waters in Iligan City as the vehicles were swept away from the highway. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A grader from a nearby construction site has been washed out by waters that swelled from the Cagayan de Oro River. MindaNews photo by JASPER LLANDERAL
Tired after a sleepless night, children sleep by the roadside in in Hinaplanon, Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A father uses candle to light up his family’s sleeping area at the gymnasium of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology as electricity had to be restored yet. Residents affected by the floods sought shelter at the university where student volunteers were assisting evacuees. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO
PAGASA’s multimillion-peso doppler radar, situated right in the middle of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, is used to predict storms and volume of rains. But even the houses next to it were damaged from the strong rains and winds of “Sendong.” MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA for Fastenopfer
Jocelyn Verano, of Barangay Loyola in Hinatuan, did not heed the warning to evacuate, opting to stay in her bahay kubo with her two little children. But when neighbors shouted that her house was falling, she finally got out – with an infant in her arms and a 3-year-old kid following her – just in the nick of time. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA for Fastenopfer
Student volunteers help pack relief goods for victims of the flashfloods in Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Their counterparts in Cagayan de Oro City help repack rice for distribution to evacuation centers. MindaNews photo by JASPER LLANDERAL
Residents of the Orchid Homes Subdivision in Barangay Santiago in Iligan City clean up debris. The subdivision, situated near the mouth of Mandulog River, was among those badly hit by “Sendong.” MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A resident of Orchid Homes Subdivision in Iligan City search for items swept by the flood. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A bulldozer cleans up mud on the streets of Orchid Homes Subdivision. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Orchid Homes Subdivision from the air. Photo by PO1 MARC CLARO / Iligan City Police Office
This is the bridge in Barangay Hinaplanon in Iligan City that collapsed as the Mandulog River swelled dawn of Dec. 17, 2011 with rains from Typhoon Sendong. Photo taken Dec. 19 by PO1 Marc Claro / Iligan City Police Office
Household members in Sitio Bayug Island in Barangay Hinaplanon, Iligan City clean up the mess after the flood. This area, situated beside the mouth of Mandulog River across Orchid Homes Subdivision, was submerged in floodwaters at the height of Tropical Storm “Sendong.” MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Relatives of still missing resident of Cagayan de Oro view the bodies that were transferred from Bollozos Funeral Parlor in Barangay Bulua to the garbage landfill in Barangay Carmen, all in Cagayan de Oro City, on Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. The City government ordered their transfer Monday after the morgues were swamped with bodies killed by Tropical Storm Sendong. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
GOOD SAMARITAN. Two boats used for tourist recreation is now used to ferry residents of Baugon across Cagayan de Oro River after the bridge in Sitio Cabula, Barangay Lumbia in Cagayan de Oro City was destroyed by typhoon Sendong’s fury. The boats offer free rides to bring the affected residents across. MindaNews Photo by Froilan Gallardo
CAFGU personnel carry a cadaver found in Barangay Hinaplanon days after “Sendong” hit Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Army soldiers bring out a body from Sitio Biasong, Barangay Macanhan in Cagayan de Oro City almost a week after “Sendong” cut a wide path of death and destruction in Northern Mindanao. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Scavengers gather rebars and other metals from the fallen Mandulog Bridge in Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
PRECIOUS WATER. Residents get water from the main water hydrant in the corner of Dolores and Pabayo streets, Cagayan de Oro City, Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011. Water has become scarce in Cagayan de Oro City after tropical storm Sendong destroyed 80 percent of the city’s water pumping station. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
Air Force personnel unload a water purifier machine from a Philippine Air Force C-130 plane that arrive in Lumbia Airport, Cagayan de Oro City Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. Cagayan de Oro is left without water when most of its water pumps and its distribution line was destroyed by tropical storm Sendong. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo
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Children from Barangay Santiago who lost their homes to Typhoon Sendong play bahay-bahayan outside the gymnasium of MSU-Iligan Institute of Technology 20 December 2011. The gym has been converted into an evacuation center where thousands of flood victims sought refuge. MindaNews photo by Bobby Timonera

Soliders prepare tp bury cadavers of victims of Typhoon Sendong for a mass burial at a cemetery in Iligan City on Tuesday, December 21, 2011. Mindanews Photo by Charlie Saceda
Volunteers help a makeshift bamboo raft cross the Tumaloang River in Baungon town in Bukidnon Wednesday (Dec. 21, 2011) to bring in relief goods from the provincial government. Eleven bridges connecting the town to the rest of Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro were destroyed by flashfloods brought by tropical storm Sendong. MindaNews photo by Walter I. Balane
Children line up to get their goodies as donors distribute gifts to evacuees at the Iligan City East High School on Christmas Day. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Evacuees at the Iligan City East High School share stories after receiving basic home items from donors on Christmas Day. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Religious statues stand on an emergency shelter at Isla de Oro in Barangay Consolacion, Cagayan de Oro City. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
A resident of Barangay Santiago gathers firewood at the beach covered with thousands of logs carried by floodwaters from the mountains of Iligan City to the coastline. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
A couple washes their clothes at the Mandulog River in Iligan City with the ruins of the Mandulog Bridge, which was destroyed during “Sendong,” in the background. MindaNews photo by ROEL N. CATOTO
The Tupag family, whose house in Bayug Island was destroyed by “Sendong,” moves to Iligan City’s “Tent City.” MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Residents of Barangay Dulag, which became isolated when the bridge connecting to Iligan City collapsed at the height of “Sendong,” get relief goods from a visiting helicopter of the Philippine Air Force. MindaNews Photo
Trauma counselors work on children of “Sendong” flood survivors in the evacuation center in Barangay Macabalan, Cagayan de Oro City. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
“Sendong” child survivors play with Nike, a six-year-old Golden Retriever owned by Iligan dog enthusiast Gary Po, in a psychosocial intervention facilitated by the group Ginhawa at an evacuation center in Barangay Sta. Filomena. MindaNews photo BOBBY TIMONERA
Bishop Elenito Galido welcomes Maribel Nagita and her family to a temporary shelter built by the Diocese of Iligan in Barangay Luinab. MindaNews photo BOBBY TIMONERA
Pictures of the missing are placed in front of a makeshift chapel where a Mass was held in Sitio Cala-cala in Barangay Macasandig 40 days after “Sendong” struck Cagayan de Oro City. Mindanews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Thousands attend the ecumenical Mass held at the Kagay-an Bridge to commemorate the victims of “Sendong” 40 days after it struck Cagayan de Oro City. MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO
Husband and wife grimace in pain during the Mass commemorating the victims of “Sendong” 40 days after it hit Iligan City. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA
Relatives of “Sendong” victims in Iligan City prepare to release wish lanterns after the Mass held 40 days later. MindaNews photo by BOBBY TIMONERA