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Philippine typhoon mother rises from ruins

Published on Mar 12, 2014 12:10 PM

TACLOBAN, Philippines (AFP) - In the savage aftermath of the Philippines' deadliest storm, an exhausted young woman gave birth to a girl on a filthy floor with little more than determination to sustain them.

Emily Sagalis survived the tsunami-like ocean surges of Super Typhoon Haiyan by gripping a fence with one hand, while using the other to protect her swollen belly from chunks of metal and other fast-floating debris.

Three days later the 21-year-old was lying on a concrete floor in labour amid broken glass, splintered wood and other wreckage of a destroyed airport building that had been turned into a makeshift medical centre.

A military doctor told an AFP journalist who witnessed the birth - the first at the centre since the typhoon - that Emily's life was in danger as there were no antibiotics to treat seemingly inevitable infections.

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