A reporter with Al Jazeera in the Philippines lived through a horrendous nightmare on Friday when she was caught in the middle of Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippine islands.
The typhoon is being called "the most powerful typhoon to ever make landfall in human history." At least 10,000 deaths have already been confirmed by local officials, and many are now left homeless and hungry amidst the devistation. Jamela Alindogan, a correspondent for Al Jazeera, reported live from Tacloban just moments after the horrific storm struck and shared her unbelievable survival story on "Democracy Now" on Monday.
"About a minute into our live, um, all of a sudden the typhoon struck and it was just this incredible wind," she said. "All of a sudden in just a matter of 30 minutes the water surged up as high, all the way up to the second floor, and we were stuck."
Alindogan recalled that the visibility was only about a meter so she was unable to see the waves approach. What happened next was unlike anything she had ever experienced as a reporter:
"And all of a sudden we felt that, you know, the wind was actually starting to—the roofs and the ceiling was actually starting to give way. And in just a matter of 20 minutes, it started caving in, and this really, really scary sound. And all of a sudden the entire roof is gone, and we were exposed to this beast, this incredible power that is really unimaginable. The sound is absolutely terrifying. It is horrific. I mean, it’s beyond what anybody else could imagine. I have covered armed conflict, but there is nothing like this, nothing as incredible and as scary as covering a natural disaster like Typhoon Haiyan.
When we were exposed to that, we managed to hide in one of the shelves. We took shelter there. Debris were flying over on top of us, above us. We knew that the eye of the storm was just above us. And we were ready to climb, in fact, and we were holding onto empty gallons of this water, plastic bottles, these massive gallons of water containers, hoping that this could actually keep us afloat in the event that we have to jump. And we waited for two hours, and, thankfully, the water didn’t rise up to the level where we were planning to jump on, basically. And we waited another two hours. It was really, really, really dragging, really long, really difficult to not know exactly how—you know, how things are going to—how your life will turn out. And thankfully, we—the water went down. But the winds were way too powerful, so we stayed a couple of hours more."