Haiyan: Spreading the Focus

Map of the Philippines with Leyte highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Leyte highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you hear about an entire city being flattened in a few minutes by Mother Nature, it’s easy to concentrate your grief and attention on that one place. Of course, Typhoon Haiyan has wreaked havoc in far more than one place. There are towns on Leyte, Cebu and Samar islands that people can’t even get to yet.

Since leaving the Philippines, Haiyan has gone on to Vietnam and China, weakened, but still terrifying. Because these two countries are more closed to Western media, we don’t know as much about what’s happening there. We know some 600,000 Vietnamese were evacuated before Haiyan hit. This report from the Voice of Vietnam state radio indicates that 13 people were killed by Haiyan. The BBC reports that Vietnam’s capital Hanoi worries about flooding in the next couple days.

So, do pay attention to what’s happening. Stay informed. Help if you can. I have traditionally supported Oxfam America, but many options exist.

Typhoon Haiyan
Typhoon Haiyan (Photo credit: Fragile Oasis)

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More from Tacloban

Still thinking a lot about Typhoon Haiyan and its victims in the Philippines. Vietnam is bracing anew as we type.

The Associated Press (US) took this photograph of the airport at Tacloban:

Tacloban airport in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan
Tacloban airport in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan

A terrifying quote, also from an AP story:

One Tacloban resident said he and others took refuge inside a parked Jeep to protect themselves from the storm, but the vehicle was swept away by a surging wall of water.

“The water was as high as a coconut tree,” said 44-year-old Sandy Torotoro, a bicycle taxi driver who lives near the airport with his wife and 8-year-old daughter. “I got out of the Jeep and I was swept away by the rampaging water with logs, trees and our house, which was ripped off from its mooring.”

“When we were being swept by the water, many people were floating and raising their hands and yelling for help. But what can we do? We also needed to be helped,” Torotoro said.

Let us hope that the half-million Vietnamese evacuated ahead of Haiyan’s fury will be safe, and that all can recover soon.

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Tracking the Worst Storm Ever