10 November 2013

Today, my father and I were talking about the typhoon in the Philippines. 

My dad grew up in China until he was 12, so typhoons weren’t uncommon. Thankfully, he and his family never went through something as dire as Super Typhoon Haiyan. His only typhoon memory comes from when he was 11 or 12 and he was on a boat from Shanghai, where he lived, to Hong Kong.  

While on the boat, a typhoon hit. Dad doesn’t remember much except that his parents weren’t with him-- he couldn’t recall why not--and he was horribly seasick the whole time. The storm was so bad, the ship waited it out at sea, adding an extra day to its journey. 

His few days of scared misery are nothing compared to what is going on in the Philippines.

When I wrote about Haiyan yesterday, estimates were that more than 1,200 were feared dead. Now the number is closer to 10,000 and more than 4 million people have been affected. The only operational hospital in Tacioban, one of the hardest hit cities, has quit taking injured victims because it has no room or supplies. Officials are saying it will take months for certain areas to see power restored. 

Now called the most powerful cyclone in 3 decades, Haiyan hit Vietnam today continuing its path of destruction. 

A number of disaster relief groups are on the ground, including the UN’s World Food Programme, which will eventually send enough food to feed 120,000 people. That’s only a small number of those who need help, but it’s a start. 

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