Photo: National Geographic
By now, most of my international followers have heard of the widespread destruction in the Philippines’ Visayas region, brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan). Yolanda, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, is the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall, and it left a wake of devastation in its path. Metro Manila (where I am) was largely unaffected, but Yolanda went “island-hopping” as it made landfall multiple times over several islands and provinces across the country, uprooting trees, tearing roofs off houses, destroying everything in its path, and causing storm surges (waves rising above sea level due to the wind blowing pressure on the water surface) as high as 15 feet crashing inland. It also affected Bohol and Cebu, two provinces just recovering from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck last October 15– less than a month ago.
Photo: AP/BBC News Asia
The damage from the typhoon and the loss of lives is totally horrific, with reports that over 10,000 people are feared dead 🙁 I can’t watch the news without tearing up 🙁 Those who survived are without electricity, food, and water (fallen trees and debris make it hard for aid to reach some areas), and have resorted to looting as a means of survival. Local and national government, the private sector, and individuals are trying to help the survivors the best they can. Other countries have pledged to give financial aid or help in rescue and relief efforts.
Photo: AP/BBC News Asia
If you have it in your heart to donate, you can do so even if you’re overseas. This is a shortlist of organisations I personally trust for donations coming in from outside the Philippines.
This is a list of bank accounts you can course your monetary donations to. These are legit accounts of Sagip Kapamilya, the emergency humanitarian assistance program of ABS-CBN Foundation which is owned by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the biggest television network in the Philippines. Rest assured your donations will reach the victims of the typhoon as ABS-CBN has a good and proven track record of helping victims of disasters and they have the means and resources to get your donations to where they are most needed.
World Vision, a reputable, international humanitarian organization I support, is rushing to respond to the most urgent needs by providing emergency food, clean water, and shelter. You can donate funds online to help out here.
If you’d like to explore more options and where and how to donate, CNN has compiled a list here.
The road to recovery will be long and slow, but with your help, the Philippines will get there.
SOURCES AND LINKS:
CNN: Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, hits central Philippines
Gizmodo: Super typhoon Haiyan just broke all scientific intensity scales
BBC: Typhoon Haiyan: Thousands feared dead in Philippines
The Weather Channel: Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Update: Mass Casualties Feared
CNN: How to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors
World Vision: Philippines Disaster Response Fund