Even though nearly 2/5 of estimated 10,000 victims of the Philippines’ tragic typhoon Haiyan are believed to be children, one glimmer of hope prevailed. A young woman managed to safely give birth to a healthy baby girl in the rubble of her devastated city.
Typhoon Haiyan ripped through the Philippines on Nov. 8. In the completely devastated city of Tacloban, Emily Ortega, 21, gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, on top of dirty plywood and debris in the destroyed Tacloban airport on Nov. 11. The airport was turned into a makeshift medical clinic to care for victims. Emily named her daughter Bea Joy, after her own mother, Beatriz, who was washed away in the floods and has not been seen since.
Pregnant Woman Washed Away In Philippine Floods Gives Birth In Airport Rubble
Baby Bea is a light of hope in a city that really needs it. “She is my miracle. I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away,” Emily said of her daughter’s birth, reported The Daily Mail. “She is so beautiful. I will name her Bea Joy in honor of my mother, Beatriz.”
Emily was staying at an evacuation center when the storm’s surges sent floods through the city, according to the Mail. Emily herself was washed away in the floods, but was able to keep afloat until she got help. She went through an incredibly difficult delivery on top of debris. Doctors still fear for Emily and her baby’s health because of the unsanitary birthing conditions and medicine is running out.
The little girl’s birth definitely comes with mixed emotions for her family. “We are supposed to be celebrating today, but we are also mourning our dead,” Emily’s husband Jobert said.
Haiyan Destroys Major Philippine City
The terrifying storm left an almost unimaginable path of destruction in its wake. “Everything was just flattened,” said Miss Lim, the Asia communications manager for Save the Children, told The Telegraph after arriving to help with relief efforts in Tacloban.
“The water was knee-high and there were bodies floating in the streets. I saw several dead children. I’d say two out of every five corpses I saw were kids,” she said. “Most of the houses were wooden and they were completely destroyed. There were trees and electrical poles strewn across the road and corrugated iron roofing that had been ripped off houses.”
Our thoughts are with new mom Emily and her family, and all those affected by Typhoons Haiyan and Yolanda.
WATCH: Typhoon Haiyan Hits Tacloban, Philippines
— Kristine Hope Kowalski