Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda)

It didn’t feel right to not write about the Philippines, the country my family is from. Just a few basic facts in what will be a years-long tragedy.

To understand the severity of the storm, a Weather Underground blog was helpful. The author noted (on November 9):

Rescuers have not yet reached the south shore of Samar Island and the city of Guiuan (population 47,000), where Haiyan initially made landfall with winds estimated at 195 mph. Typhoon and hurricane maximum wind speed estimates are only valid for over water exposure, and winds over land are typically reduced by about 15%, due to friction. This would put Haiyan’s winds at 165 mph over land areas on the south shore of Guiuan Island. This is equivalent to a high end EF-3 or low end EF-4 tornado, so the wind damage there must have been catastrophic–perhaps the greatest wind damage any place on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century.

That’s pretty bad.

There is a list of charities doing disaster relief at the Huffington Post:

World Food Programme
WFP has allocated an immediate $2 million for Haiyan relief, with a greater appeal pending as needs become apparent. The UN organization is sending 40 metric tons of fortified biscuits in the immediate aftermath, as well as working with the government to restore emergency telecommunications in the area. Americans can text the word AID to 27722 to donate $10 or give online. Learn more here.

Red Cross
Emergency responders and volunteers throughout the Philippines are providing meals and relief items. Already, thousands of hot meals have been provided to survivors. Red Cross volunteers and staff also helped deliver preliminary emergency warnings and safety tips. Give by donating online or mailing a check to your local American Red Cross chapter. Learn more here.

The Philippine Red Cross has mobilized its 100 local outposts to help with relief efforts.Learn more here.

The relief organization is sending medical aid for 20,000 survivors, including antibiotics, wound care supplies and pain relievers. AmeriCares is also giving funds to local organizations to purchase supplies. Learn more here.

World Vision
The organization is providing food, water and hygiene kits at the evacuation centers. World Vision was also still actively responding to last month’s earthquake in Bohol, which luckily was not struck by the eye of the storm. Learn more here.

Salvation Army
100 percent of all disaster donations will be used for relief efforts and “to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.” Text TYPHOON to 80888 to Donate $10 or give online. Learn more here.

Recovery will take years and for many life will never return to normal. But the world is full of tragedies. This one has hit closer to home for me.

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