Asia

Haiyan typhoon dance party fundraiser cancelled after uproar

Children play in front of the left over engine of a scrapped tanker that was washed ashore during Typhoon Haiyan last year Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many residents of Tacloban are still rebuilding their lives one year on from super typhoon Haiyan

The organisers of a fundraising event intended to mark one year since Typhoon Haiyan devastated central Philippines have cancelled it after a backlash.

The "dance party", as described by organisers, was meant to be held on Friday in Tacloban, the worst-hit area.

Critics said its slogan - "Party like it never happened, remember because it did" - made light of the tragedy.

The super typhoon left more than 7,000 people dead or missing and millions without homes.

Haiyan, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, hit on 8 November last year sending huge storm swells into inland areas and destroying wide swathes of central Philippines.

Image copyright FYolanda
Image caption The organisers said this T-shirt design would continue to be sold

Organiser Calai Cinco, herself a survivor of the storm, said the event had aimed to "provide a place for people to connect with other survivors and celebrate life, while raising funds for educational scholarships, to be donated to a local NGO".

"Our lives, like all survivors, were changed forever by November 8th, 2013," she said in a statement from the organisers released to announce the cancellation.

Promotional material around the event, which had the slogan "party like it never happened: remember because it did," had been accused of being inappropriate. It also sold T-shirts bearing the words "Eat, Pray, Loot", in an apparent reference to the aftermath of the storm.

One comment on the Facebook page of the event said : "Don't you think a party is insensitive on your death anniversary?"

Another person said: "How can you pretend that it never happened and party because you are alive when people are still homeless?"

The organisers apologised in the statement to "those that misinterpreted the meaning of their event".

"The #FYolanda event is not about drinking and partying. It is an expression of life and celebration of survival. We must show everyone that Tacloban is still alive. And we must join together as survivors to help support the next generation."

The organisers said they would continue to sell a T-shirt that read "not even the strongest typhoon could bend the strongest people" to keep raising funds.

Related Topics