Monday, November 11, 2013

How We Can Help the People of the Philippines

As I'm sure you know, last weekend saw Typhoon Haiyan, perhaps the greatest storm on record, devastate much of the Philippines. Some are fearing the death toll to rise above 10,000, and it's estimated that over four million people have in some way been adversely effected by what's being called a super typhoon.

"The devastation is, I don't have the words for it," U.S. Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said, according to Reuters. "It's really horrific. It's a great human tragedy."

Writes Floyd Whaley in the New York Times:

The powerful typhoon that swept across the Philippines on Friday, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, cut a path of destruction through several central islands, leaving the seaside city of Tacloban in ruins and leading to early, unconfirmed estimates of at least 1,200 dead.

. . . Some meteorologists said the storm, called Yolanda in the Philippines, hit land with sustained winds above 190 miles per hour, while others reported winds of 150 miles per hour.

Photos and television footage showed fierce winds ripping tin roofs off homes and sending waves crashing into wooden buildings that splintered under the force. Large ships were tossed on shore, and vehicles were shown piled up on top of one another. Video footage from Tacloban showed ocean water rushing through the streets of the city, which has an estimated population of 220,000. Experts said the flooding there was a result of a storm surge.

. . . According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the deadliest storm in Philippine history was Tropical Storm Thelma, which flooded the town of Ormoc, on Leyte Island, on November 15, 1991, and killed more than 5,000 people. The second deadliest was Typhoon Bopha, which hit a southern island, Mindanao, on December 3, 2012, and killed 1,900 people.

If, like me, you feel moved to help then it might be helpful to know that the following agencies are accepting donations for the people of the Philippines.

Above: A ship sits atop destroyed homes after it was washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan. (Photo: Aaorn Favila/AP)

Above: A woman holds a statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, one of only a few of her saved belongings, after Super Typhoon Haiyan destroyed much of the city of Tacloban in central Philippines on November 9, 2013. (Photo: Raul Banias/Reuters)

Above: Residents seek refuge inside a Catholic church which has been converted into an evacuation center after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered the city of Tacloban on November 10, 2013. (Photo: Romeo Ranoca/Reuters)

Above: A man sits crying aboard a packed C130 aircraft after he and hundreds of others are evacuated from Tacloban. (Photo: Paula Bronsein/Getty Images)

Related Off-site Links:
Typhoon Victims in Philippines Plead for Aid – Todd Pitman and Jim Gomez (Associated Press, November 11, 2013).
Typhoon Haiyan: Survival, Loss and Humanity in Obliterated City of Tacloban – Kate Hodal (The Guardian, November 11, 2013).
Typhoon Haiyan Overshadows UN Climate Talks – Monika Scislowska (Associated Press, November 11, 2013).
Pope Asks for Prayer, Aid for Typhoon VictimsAssociated Press (November 11, 2013).
IPCC Chairman: Are We Prepared to "Pass on a Lousy, Spoilt and Defiled Planet" – Jo Confino (The Guardian, November 9, 2013).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Prayer of the Week: "The Heart of Compassion" by Joyce Rupp
Superstorm Sandy: A "Wake-Up Call" on Climate Change
How We Can Help the People in the Horn of Africa (July 2011)
How We Can Help the People of Pakistan (August 2010)
How We Can Help the People of Haiti (January 2010)
Crisis in Sri Lanka (May 2009)
Letting Them Sit By Me

Opening image: A survivor walks among the debris of houses destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Levite on November 11, 2013. (Photo: Noel Celis.AFP/Getty Images)

Image 2: A boy wounded by flying debris stands by the ruins of his family's home in Tacloban – November 10, 2013. (Photo: Erik De Castro/Reuters)

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