In recovery from massive typhoon, Philippine town struggles to balance complex motives

© CI/Tim Noviello

In the wake of the strongest storm to ever hit land, how does a flattened town recover?

More than two years after Typhoon Haiyan pummeled the Philippine island of Iloilo, life is somewhat back to normal for many residents of the coastal town of Concepcion. But in a place that expects more frequent, stronger storms as climate change continues to take hold, balancing caution and ambition in plans for the future is a daily challenge.

In this special report, we document how Concepcion is adapting to the “new normal” — despite some contradictions.

Molly Bergen is the senior managing editor of Human Nature.

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Cover image: Fish for sale at the market in Concepcion, Philippines. Since Typhoon Haiyan destroyed many coral reefs offshore, local fish catch has been much reduced; however, thanks to the construction of artificial reefs and expansion of local “no-take” zones, it is beginning to bounce back. (© Conservation International/photo by Tim Noviello)