Interrupting this book and publishing blog’s irregularly scheduled “programming” tonight.
Super typhoon Haiyan (Philippine name: Yolanda), one of the worst storms on record (if not the worst), has come and gone. That wild, crazy bitch of a weather disturbance has caused immense destruction and unimaginable carnage across the Philippines’ Visayas region (particularly Leyte, Iloilo and Samar) all the way to MIMAROPA. It basically cut right through the middle part of the country. Whole structures and entire towns are completely wiped out; survivors have lost everything and are out on the streets; supplies are quickly running out; looting/theft has become rampant in some areas; communication lines are slowly coming back up; organizations and volunteers are swamped, fatigued and overworked; and many are still unaccounted for.
There are now over 1,000 casualties, but the count is far from done, with that horrible number 10,000 being floated around in local and international media. Yolanda’s on its way to Northern Vietnam, relatively weaker but still highly destructive.
Relatives and friends overseas have been checking up on us since Friday. We’re all doing fine; thank you so much for your concern. Manila had only a very brief encounter with Yolanda on Friday afternoon/night, and those gusts of wind we got were scary enough. We’re extremely lucky over here; the footage coming in from the southern cities and towns is just painful to see and process.
All who were in Haiyan/Yolanda’s path really need help right now and in the coming months. Here are the ways you can pitch in.
Those looking for people in the affected areas can use Google’s Person Finder and Crisis and Relief Map. If you need information on loved ones in Leyte, fill out this form. GMA News Online has also posted messages and news from survivors.
Donations are direly needed by local/international organizations already on the ground. The Philippine Red Cross, World Food Programme (WFP), World Vision, UNICEF, Save the Children and Oxfam all accept online donations. Please donate.
Habitat for Humanity provides two donation links: one for PH citizens/residents and another for international donors. Another option that international donors can go for is SixDegrees.org; its Network for Good page supports three charitable organizations. More resources for foreign financial assistance are listed over at CNN and The Huffington Post.
Globe Telecom and SMART subscribers can donate to the PH Red Cross via text message/SMS. Just text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart).
BPI Express Online subscribers can also log on to the system and go to “e-Donation” under the Payments and Reloading tab to send money directly from their registered accounts.
The PH Red Cross, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Gawad Kalinga and Caritas Manila are also looking for volunteers and asking for relief goods. The MVP Tulong Kapatid Center/Meralco Foundation, too. Rappler/Move.PH also has a growing list of relief operations held throughout the Philippines and abroad, so please check that one out.
Keep an eye out for more donation drives, repacking operations, and fundraisers in the days and weeks to come. If you’re near the hardest-hit areas, please volunteer. Military/Government personnel, medical workers and aid workers need volunteers… as much manpower as possible for every area they’re helping out.
The hashtags used by government agencies, volunteers and individuals:
Please, please, please use them wisely.
Will add more links and resources to this list. You can also comment on this post with additional info.
More news has also come in: there’s another storm brewing, and it may go the same way as Haiyan. Keep track of weather forecasts, take all precautions, and stay safe.