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Boy in Viral Typhoon Haiyan Photo Marks Tragic Anniversary

Twelve-year-old typhoon survivor Joshua Cator and his father Sulpicio Cator, Jr. offer candles at the grave site of Joshua's mother and sister at a cemetery for 3,000 typhoon victims in Tacloban City, Philippines, Nov. 7, 2014. DENNIS M. SABANGAN / EPA

A boy who became the face of Typhoon Haiyan visited the graves of his mother and sister for the first time on Friday, the eve of the first anniversary of the disaster.

Joshua Cator's picture was used in charity appeals around the world after the typhoon struck the Philippines last year, leaving close to 8,000 people dead or missing. In the U.K. alone, an appeal centered around the image raised almost $150 million. An Oxfam campaigner in the Netherlands who was haunted by the photo of the boy with the gashed cheek started a Facebook campaign to find out what had happened to him, and within weeks journalists had tracked Joshua down.

On Friday, the twelve-year-old crouched alongside his father as they placed candles beneath two simple white crosses at a site where 3,000 typhoon victims were buried in the city of Tacloban. The pair, who lost 23 relatives to the typhoon, are among over four million people who were left displaced after the typhoon swept through the island nation.

Image: Typhoon Haiyan aftermath in the Philippines
Photographer Dennis M. Sabangan took this photo of Joshua Cator scavenging for food in the typhoon-devastated city of Tacloban on Nov. 10, 2013. A year later, Sabangan met up with him again. DENNIS M. SABANGAN / EPA, file