Typhoon Haiyan is now being considered as one of the strongest typhoon that has ever made landfall. Last Friday, local time, it made landfall in the Philippines at peak strength, with maximum winds of 195 miles per hour.
Typhoon Haiyan’s tail hit some parts of the major island of Luzon, including some areas of Metro Manila, the nation’s capital. Our family lives in the suburbs, south of the metropolis. We had power outage for 2 hours, and the wind howled through the night and well into late Saturday afternoon. At worst, we had fallen tree branches.
The picture is entirely different in the areas that were directly hit by the super typhoon. We are only beginning to see the extent of damage wrought upon the lives of many families who live in the second biggest island group of the country – the Visayas. The entire region was blanketed in darkness after the storm because electrical facilities were damaged, and all communication lines were down till yesterday.
The news headlines were not exaggerated after all. What has happened here is heartbreaking – estimates put the death toll at 10,000 or more. One city –Tacloban City – and several towns were pulverized by the super typhoon. I had never seen so much devastation in our country in my entire life, and it will take some time to process this.
Our weather bureau had announced that we could experience up to five more typhoons till the end of this year. Global warming has extended the length of our typhoon season. We have been experiencing an average of 20-24 typhoons through the decades -Haiyan is the 24th so far this year – but now, we have to get used to the idea that we may have to celebrate a wet Christmas.
We continue to count our blessings and thank the international community, the various charities and civic groups who are helping our countrymen. Thank you too, for your prayers.
Typhoon Haiyan is nearing Vietnam and is also affecting parts of China. I hope the people there will fare better.
These notes, written on torn pieces of paper and paper plates were given by the people from the devastated areas to a local newscaster. The notes contain messages for their relatives who are residing in other places. Some messages contain good news, others relate the deaths of several family members.