Just wanted to take a moment in this blog to write a post about the super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) that just passed by my country, Philippines on Friday November 8, 2013. I'm sure by now most of you have heard of this devastating news, the super typhoon that was placed in a category 5 and was soon recorded as the strongest storm in history to ever make landfall.
Yolanda was already announced as early as last Tuesday. There was a lot of panic buying at the groceries, classes were already suspended and a few thousands were evacuated ahead.There have been satellite images (see here and here) that looked pretty scary, that even for non-weather experts, could be seen as something worrying. It's projection was that the whole Philippines was totally covered by it, should it make landfall. Well it smashed into our country and the aftermath was worse that any that we have seen.
In my city, Cebu City, the storm raged and we were at signal number 3 (pretty high up). Luckily we were spared from a lot of damage and casualty. The eye of the storm was at an island not far from my own called Leyte. It then made island hopping and landed in other nearby islands and to the northernmost tip of my Island Cebu. Now we have some relatives living in the north of Cebu and the morning the storm hit, we were in contact with them from the moment it hit and they kept updating us. Then suddenly their text updates started to turn scary (omg, our roof just flew off! and stuff like that) and then suddenly their last text was, "The roof of your house just flew off and your house is so very destroyed" We then tried calling and texting them and that was the last of it. This was at ten thirty am. The whole day was pretty scary and freaky, not knowing what happened to them and at the same time you couldn't do anything about it because nobody could go out in the storm. It was still raging and dangerous outside so all we could do was stay put and wait. Around 5am the next day we got a text from them and thank god they were all okay.
Their town San Remegio was not spared from damage though. Also until now, there is still no electricity and no running water. Most houses have no rooves and almost everything got wet. My dad and I drove up north to them, as soon as we heard that the roads were passable. The first few towns we passed by, we didn't see much. Just some random trees over turned here and there. Then as we got closer to the North, at a town called Sogod, we started to notice the debris. Lots of trees overturned, most of them at the side of the road already because they have since been cleared. Rooves ripped off from houses, bendy poles, huge trucks overturned and a lot of people on the side of the road carrying signs that said : "Help Us." or "We need water" and etc. I can only imagine what it looked like the exact moment after the storm passed.
There was even a small electric post that fell, literally moments before we passed a certain area. It fell on a huge container van and we were still able to pass through under it.
The images below are some that I took of the destruction in the north of Cebu. Keep in mind though that this isn't even 1/8th of the total destruction caused by Yolanda. Bantayan Island, Malapascua, Capiz and most especially Leyte have it really, really bad too. Click here or here to read an article and see some more photos. (warning: images are pretty graphic and are devastating :( )
For now, in this blog post, these are just my personal photos of the North, most especially, from the municipality of San Remegio.
Check out this link from rappler for a more detailed listing of ways to help.
Also Social media is very important in times like these : check all your updates on Facebook/Istagram/twitter, there are bound to be hundreds of private organizations/groups putting together massive relief operations and drop off centers for goods.
For those overseas here are some ways to help. Also some news articles listing other ways to help and which organizations to course your donations through.
I hope that everyone can help out in some way. Every single Filipino, no matter what part of the country they are from or wherever they are based in the world is affected - This is one of the most heartbreaking events we have experienced. I don't think any of us could go to bed each night peacefully, knowing so many of our countrymen are suffering. Hopefully, we can all come together to help out and get over this devastating situation.