Rebuilding Marawi - a slow, arduous process

Very few structures were left standing after the army rained artillery shells and bombs to flush out the militants. Those still standing are nothing more than empty hulls – just four corners of a house. PHOTO: CRISTINA MENINA FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
The minaret of Marawi’s largest mosque, in an area that was once a thriving commercial hub. Officials say the mosque will have to be demolished and rebuilt from scratch. When The Straits Times visited the area two weeks ago, the smell of war – a mixture of odours from rubbish, decay and death – was still lingering in the air. PHOTO: CRISTINA MENINA FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
Hairdresser Macsi Miraata was unable to immediately flee Marawi as he needed to evacuate his nephews and nieces first. He hid in a basement for two days, surviving on noodles, and papayas and sweet potatoes from a small garden he tended. PHOTO: CRISTINA MENINA FOR THE STRAITS TIMES
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MARAWI • It is a tale of two cities. Half of Marawi is already bustling with life and commerce while the other is still a wasteland.

The Philippine government is focusing its efforts on rebuilding the devastated half, where fighting during the battle for Marawi had been at its most intense.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline Rebuilding Marawi - a slow, arduous process. Subscribe