In battered Philippine city Marawi, first hints of return to normalcy -

In battered Philippine city Marawi, first hints of return to normalcy

Credit: straitstimes.com

  • Oct 26 2017 09:45About: 2 months ago
  • 15 views

MARAWI CITY, PHILIPPINES (REUTERS) - After five months of crippling conflict, there are slow signs of life returning in the Philippines' battered Marawi City.

Utilities engineers were at work on Thursday (Oct 26) in the near-deserted outskirts of Marawi which escaped the daily air strikes that flattened vast swathes of the city.

A few groceries, motorcycle repair shops and petrol sellers have opened, ready for the first batch of returning residents in the coming days.

Nearly 6,500 families will be headed back to the homes that were left intact, out of the 353,000 people displaced when hundreds of pro-ISIS gunmen ran amok and seized control of central Marawi in May.

Combat operations ended on Monday, when the last fighters were killed in a fierce final stand. With vehicles crushed and overturned and buildings reduced to skeletons of mangled steel and rubble, the city appears to be in the aftermath of a war that lasted years, rather than months.

Ms Amelah Ampaso said she decided that day to sneak back to Marawi and reopen her shop, now stocked with cooking oil and cigarettes and offering photocopying services, printing, and haircuts.

As a first-mover in a liberated Marawi, the 25-year-old is doing brisk business among the few people around.

"The other shops are closed, so people are coming here," she said. "It's safe again."

But nearby streets look like the set of a post-apocalyptic film, silent, with shutters pulled down and weeds growing between concrete slabs. Rust and decay is setting in after months of heavy rains and neglect.

Spray painted on the walls of almost every building is the word "clear", marking where police and soldiers went house-to-house checking thousands of abandoned properties for booby-traps or signs of insurgents hiding.

The fighting has taken a heavy toll, killing more than 1,100 people, mostly militants, and reducing a large part of the interior of the city to piles of rubble, leaving only shells of uninhabitable grey buildings.

Shop owner Madid Noor, 64, returned two months into the battle, reassured by detachments of soldiers and police nearby, and unperturbed by what were constant explosions and the howling of fighter jets over the city.

After a few lean months, he hopes returnees will come to him to buy washing powder, petrol and fake branded sportswear.

"Some days we have customers. But not every day," he said.



Follow Us on Twitter

October 2017 5:33 PMMARAWI CITY PHILIPPINES (REUTERS) After five months crippling conflict there slow signs life returning Philippines battered Marawi City.

Related stories with In battered Philippine city Marawi, first hints of return to normalcy

The UNDEFEATED x BAPE Shanghai Pop-Up Store Brought out Fans of Both Brands -World News
The UNDEFEATED x BAPE Shanghai Pop-Up Store Brought out Fans of Both Brands 2 months ago
To celebrate its recent Fall/Winter 2017 collaboration with streetwear stalwart BAPE, LA’s UNDEFEATED traveled across the globe to Shanghai, China to set up a pop-up store. Throughout the pop-up, BAPE’s camo and Ape heads are featured amongst UNDEFEAT
Roadman Shaq Wakes up in Miami In
Roadman Shaq Wakes up in Miami In "Mans Not Hot" Visuals 2 months ago
Back in August comedian Michael Dapaah, a.k.a Roadman Shaq, went viral with his parody Fire in the Booth performance of "Man's Not Hot." Charlie Sloth's BBC 1extra show Fire in the Booth is often a stage from which grime artists can launch their careers o
King James' Nike LeBron 15 Surfaces in a Subtle Red Color Scheme -World News
King James' Nike LeBron 15 Surfaces in a Subtle Red Color Scheme 2 months ago
LeBron James and his signature Nike LeBron 15 sneaker are on the verge of dropping in a new colorway option for the current fall season. Although considered a battle-ready court sneaker, the silhouette has dropped in a variety of lifestyle options, with t
London Road Jewellery welcomed to John Lewis -World News
London Road Jewellery welcomed to John Lewis 2 months ago

Oxford saw the opening of the first John Lewis store, welcoming the range of British jewellery brand London Road Jewellery. The brand is also stocked in 22 other John Lewis stores nationwide. Behind the London Road brand are a brother and sister team,

Wanted: A better defense of modern-day capitalism -World News
Wanted: A better defense of modern-day capitalism 2 months ago
Capitalism is taking on new forms in the 21st century, and the old arguments to defend it no longer have any relevance.
Xi enshrined as China’s leader -World News
Xi enshrined as China’s leader 2 months ago
Xi Jinping has been elevated to a level of power unmatched by any Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. What will he do with it?
Harrison Ford goes back to the future for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ -World News
Harrison Ford goes back to the future for ‘Blade Runner 2049’ 2 months ago
Harrison Ford admits he is about to spout a cliche, but goes for it anyway: “It really doesn’t feel like 35 years since ‘Blade Runner,'” ...
Steen’s breakout night sends Blues to victory -World News
Steen’s breakout night sends Blues to victory 2 months ago
Alexander Steen did not panic.The St. Louis winger knew that his return to form was right around the corner. Steen, who missed the first six ...
Leicester City hires Puel as new manager -World News
Leicester City hires Puel as new manager 2 months ago
Leicester City hired Claude Puel its third manager this year on Wednesday as the Premier League team struggles to regain stability after its astonishing title ...
Gujarat court cancels arrest warrant against quota leader Hardik Patel in vandalism case -World News
Gujarat court cancels arrest warrant against quota leader Hardik Patel in vandalism case 2 months ago
Sessions judge V P Agarwal had yesterday issued warrants against Hardik Patel and six others for allegedly vandalising the office of a BJP MLA during the quota stir in 2015.
Stan Wawrinka needs coach after Magnus Norman resigns -World News
Stan Wawrinka needs coach after Magnus Norman resigns 2 months ago
Three-time Grand Slam title winner Stan Wawrinka needs a new coach, because Magnus Norman is moving on.Norman announced Wednesday that he was quitting after 4½ ...
Dalit woman, unborn child die after being attacked by upper caste woman for touching bucket -World News
Dalit woman, unborn child die after being attacked by upper caste woman for touching bucket 2 months ago
She was punched in the stomach, hit with sticks, her head banged against the wall - all of this, carrying an eight-month-old foetus in her stomach.