On Nov. 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan landed in the Philippines, claiming the lives of over 4,000 people. It is said to be the most power tropical cyclone to ever make landfall. With wind speed as high as 195 miles per hour, everything in the typhoon’s path was destroyed. As aid arrives, the world is getting more glimpses of the horrors and destruction Typhoon Haiyan created, and it is predicted that the body count will soon rise as helpers discover more bodies among the debris.
The Philippines is receiving aid from all over the world, whether it is in the form of money, personnel or resources. Unfortunately, rescuers have been having difficulty distributing food, water and medical supplies throughout the Philippines due to the widespread destruction that made roads impassable, cut electricity, left government buildings in shambles and forced 600,000 people to be homeless.
With hospitals in ruins, schools and airports now function as the hospitals. There are very few doctors, nurses and medical kits, but the number of injured people has been skyrocketing. Mothers who were or are about to be in labor risk their child’s life, for the hospital does not have the emergency supplies necessary to deal with the complications of birth. Those who did not die in the storm are suffering from diseases such as cholera, hepatitis, malaria, dengue fever, typhoid fever and bacterial dysentery because of the collapse in sanitation, lack of fresh water and the inability of the health teams to respond quickly.
Tacloban, the city in the Philippines that is said to have been hit the hardest, is now a wasteland. Currently, President Benigno Aquino III is in Tacloban to ensure that the city’s residents get more aid, an effort he personally made after receiving several complaints that survivors were not getting the proper help.
The Philippines is also running low on fuel, making it difficult for the few remaining trucks to distribute food and water. With resources becoming scarcer, violence has increased throughout the towns that were affected. Rioting, looting and stealing are now common on the streets of the hardest-hit cities, and already eight people have been crushed to death in an attempt to obtain rice from a government warehouse.
The people of the Philippines are waiting for the aid the world has to offer. Luckily, no Chattahoochee students’ family members were lost during this typhoon, but Arielle Perez (SR), a Filipino native from Manila, is organizing a way for Johns Creek to help out the victims of the typhoon. On her own family’s dime, she has ordered 1,000 bracelets to sell to Chattahoochee students. All of the proceeds will go directly to the Atlanta Red Cross Chapter’s rescue and relief efforts of the typhoon victims. When asked about why she started the fundraiser, she responded, “It’s in my nature to always help out those in need, and when I heard about the devastation in the Philippines, I decided to find a way to raise money since I knew I couldn’t physically be there and help out.” Perez plans to begin selling the bracelets the week after Thanksgiving break, so make sure to bring some money to spare for a good cause.
(cover photo courtesy New York Daily News)