I actually do not know how to begin writing this blog post as it involves a devastating event. We know about the Haiti earthquake, the Japan tsunami, Hurricane Sandy’s effect on the East Coast, and other disasters. Around Thursday (PST)/ Friday, last week, Super Typhoon Haiyan (locally named, “Yolanda”) struck several big provinces in the Philippines. I’m from the Philippines and this event which devastated my country pains me.
It was true that when my mom called from the Philippines telling me a really strong storm is coming, I was like, “OK, you guys take care and stay at home,” not really concerned as I know it won’t hit Manila. Little did I know that the super typhoon will do so much damage that it scared the wits out of me, and depressed my spirit. Storms and typhoons have been a common event in a tropical country like ours. Philippines experiences many low pressure areas, and at least nine storms a year – sometimes exhausting all the alphabets (we name our typhoons alphabetically). Yolanda, as can be deduced, is the 25th storm to hit the country this year. Amazingly, we even have the typhoon Zoraida raining on another part of the country. Even more disturbing and baffling is the fact that it’s already November and yet, the country is still being struck by typhoons when it should all be okay and sunny beginning October.
On Friday (PST), my mom called to say that she kept waking up at 3 in the morning because the winds were so strong. A few hours later, news reports and videos were uploaded and streaming. The super typhoon ravaged cities and towns as if they’re mere dust on the ground. A day after the typhoon stopped, it was reported that more than 350,000 people were displaced, and suspected that more than 10,000 people are dead or more. It was one of the strongest super typhoons ever recorded in history, and this super typhoon is also the most destructive that struck the Philippines – more than the typhoon Ondoy which devastated Manila a year ago. It came with a 235-mph wind and left with a 7 meter deep of flood in Tacloban City. As of today, CBS reports that more than 4 million people were affected by the typhoon. Some areas are still incommunicable as they are in remote areas of the provinces affected. No electricity, no communication, and not even enough helicopters or rescue vehicles were dispatched to help the affected people, or even to check if there are any survivors. Houses were destroyed, people died, families mourned.
To add salt to the wound, it was reported (Citi Research) that the super typhoon “destroyed 80% of the structures in its path and resulted in more than $69 million in damages.” Several organizations have already organized donation channels to help the country. If you can, please help out. The following are only some of those I found:
- The United Nations World Food Programme
- The Philippine Red Cross
- World Vision
- Doctors Without Borders
- Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity
The above are just channels for donation. You can help too by spreading the word and praying for the families. Donation of goods and clothes are also helpful. I think what they need most right now are the vehicles to reach those devastated areas. It’s sad, heartbreaking, and in Filipino, kalunos-lunos.
Here are some videos of the super typhoon –
Please spread the word.