Schools reopen in Philippine typhoon zone
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AFP) - Schools reopened on Monday in badly damaged central Philippine towns for the first time since one of the world's strongest storms ever to hit land killed thousands two months ago.
Crowding into makeshift classrooms built from tarpaulins and plywood, the children - many of them still traumatised - sat quietly as teachers tried to engage them in friendly banter.
Mothers refused to leave the tents despite appeals from teachers to let the children slowly resume their daily routine, an AFP reporter said.
"Only about 50 percent of our school's nearly 1,000 pupils are back," lamented principal Maria Evelyn Encina in the seaside village of San Roque near the central city of Tacloban, where giant tsunami-like waves triggered by Super Typhoon Haiyan wiped out entire neighbourhoods.