The Philippines needs your help.
Typhoon Haiyan, known to Filipinos as Yolanda, has left destruction in its wake. An estimated 9.5 million people have been affected by one of the strongest storms to hit the planet. Reports are predicting that more than 10, 000 lives have already been claimed by the storm. Thousands of people have been left stranded and homeless. Roads, establishments, and crops have been destroyed. I’ll refrain from posting graphic photos here, but there are countless heartbreaking photos online of places like Tacloban City that were one of the first to be hit badly by Haiyan. Hundreds of dead bodies cover the streets. Survivors are devastated, lost, and hungry. Reports of looting have already started. Scared, tired, and hungry people wander the streets like zombies in search of food and any form of relief from the tragedy.
The extent of the damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan has made relief and rescue efforts challenging, but hasn’t stopped the Coast Guard, Policemen, and civilians from helping out.
Typhoon Haiyan has brought grief into the hearts of Filipinos (like this personal account here and report here). As Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire said, “I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers.” I hope that wherever you are in the world, you can spare a bit of your time and effort to help my fellow countrymen out.
Here’s an updated list of relief centers gathered by Rappler.com. Five minutes of your time can make a world of a difference to the victims of this tragedy. My brother works for the World Food Programme (WFP) and he just informed me that there is also a dire need for potable water in the Haiyan-affected areas so while food is much-needed, water is an equally vital donation too. You can help through the WFP here.
Filipinos are a resilient people with ready smiles and open hearts. Haiyan may have destroyed homes and taken lives, but no tragedy can break the Filipino spirit. You have my gratitude in advance for all the help you’ll give. :)