TODAY   |  November 22, 2013

Young typhoon survivors find joy amid destruction

The death toll from Typhoon Haiyan is currently estimated at 5,000. But amid the tragic destruction, children who survived are finding moments of joy and healing.  NBC’s Ian Williams reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> weeks after the typhoon struck the philippines, the victims were raised to 5,000 and they're still being found. now what's done to help the youngest survivors.

>> reporter: they play amid the ruins of a school that now serve as a shelter but the children's smiles masked the horror of what they live through.

>> some of the children would wake up and cry at night, shouting.

>> reporter: she was a teacher at this elementary school in the battered town where she has tried to create a safe area for children.

>> rain, rain, go away. come again another day.

>> we get them to play with the other children. so that they would forget whatever bad experiences they have encountered.

>> hello.

>> reporter: at a clinic further along the coast, she is trying to provide what she calls stop gap help before child welfare organizations like unicef and save the children are able to reach here. her emotional first aid kit has smiley stickers and bubbles or nail polish .

>> it can lighten up their world for a few minutes and take them somewhere else.

>> reporter: some children have their own way of coping. this 11-year-old finds happiness in drawing.

>> so you like happy people.

>> yes. it's better when i draw.

>> reporter: his family survived but he's not sure what happened to many of his schoolmates. the aim for now is to keep the children occupied, to keep them smiling and here at least they seem to be doing a pretty good job. philippine tradition, extended families and community support also provide a cushion but far more will be needed for all the children emotionally scarred by this disaster.

>>> a daring rescue was caught on camera last night after heavy rain caused flash flooding in southern california . one man was trapped in a surging flood control channel holding on to a tree there. a helicopter was called in to hoist him to safety. firefighters then heard more calls for help and they rescued several