It was just last month when I posted about the tragedy that happened in my hometown, Bohol. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake took almost 200 people’s lives and damaged so many infrastructures.
This time, a super typhoon came towards the central part of the Philippines. Typhoon Yolanda ( Haiyan – International name) was dubbed as the strongest tropical typhoon to make a landfall in recorded history. Packing sustained winds of up to 320 km/h (199mph), it is equivalent to a Category 4 – 5 hurricane in the Atlantic.
My heart was breaking when I saw videos and photos of the damages and destruction. Up until now, some islands can’t be accessed because of impassable roads and communication in one of the first directly hit islands is still in process. As of this writing, about 100 people are listed as casualties. Survey of damages is still on going.
Bohol was also in the path, thankfully, not the center of the storm. It would have also been devastating for those who are living in tents and makeshift homes to experience that kind of onslaught. My family and friends are thankfully safe.
The Philippines experiences so many typhoons in a year. It is also in the Pacific ring of fire with volcanoes and earthquake faults. Filipinos have experienced so many disasters. However, we never fail to stand back up. In the preparation of the typhoon, people remained strong and tried to prepare as much as they can. They were defiant in the face of the coming disaster. People wanted to come out stronger after it. I have seen on Twitter and Facebook how we help each other. Either by passing information or just helping out a neighbor who doesn’t have a concrete house to stay in. People were scared, yet they were defiant.
I can’t imagine how it must have felt experiencing that kind of onslaught. Being away from my family and country, I can only read news and help spread information. The country is trying its best to recover and access the damage. I am not there to help out, however, I can write about it and spread the news. In times of need, I know that people will always come together. One thing that struck me the most though, some people were still smiling even after their houses were damaged. They were saying thanks to the people who are helping them without complaints. I know in my heart that that spirit will carry the Filipinos towards building up and standing back. In every disaster, we can choose to cry and blame or we can brush the dirt and stand up. I know the Filipinos will do the latter.
If you want to help and need more information, here are some links :
- At least 120 people killed by Typhoon Haiyan in city of Tacloban, Philippines – @BBCBreaking (bbc.co.uk)
- More than 100 killed in one Philippine city by Super Typhoon Haiyan – CNN.com (edition.cnn.com)