In central Vietnam, life after mega-storm means making peace with the broken pieces

September 17, 2017 | 12:28 pm GMT+7

Young and old are trying to salvage what they can as the painstaking process of rebuilding gets underway.


Nguyen Thi Chinh, 32, stands by her collapsed house in Quang Binh Province, one of the provinces hardest hit by Typhoon Doksuri as it made landfall in central Vietnam on Friday. She wisely sought refuge with her two children in a stronger house belonging to a relative as the storm ripped through the region.


Her wedding photo is buried in the rubble. Her husband works in Saigon and could not make it home. “He just started work a month ago and won’t be able to send me money to fix the house,” she said. “I don't know where we're going to stay now.”


Their rice was spoiled by rainwater and is only good for chicken feed now.


Many books belonging to her first-grade daughter were swept away or torn apart.


The girl tries to save a couple of books by putting them out to dry. Chinh said she does not have money to buy new books for her daughter, so “I might have to ask her teacher to understand.”


Steps away, Chinh’s neighbors are trying to save their house, which was home to six people including a one-month-old baby.


Nguyen Tan Dinh, 48, the owner, checks the damage. “Half of it has collapsed,” he said. “We spent the entire day putting things back together but it still looks like a mess.”


His television was smashed to pieces, but he still hopes he can fix it.


Dinh and his son, both construction workers, are going to fix their house. “But we can only afford to rebuild it from whatever we have left.” His grandchild is staying with their neighbors for safety.


Dinh’s family has dinner in the front yard using light from a cellphone. They eat porridge cooked with some storks caught after the storm, and green banana, which had no time to ripen after the trees were toppled.

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