Typhoon Yolanda and the Humanitarian Spirit

I could not help but feel sorry and helpless when Philippines was devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan) last weekend.

Thousands of people were perished, millions of properties were severely damaged, crops and fishing vessels were totally destroyed, phone and electricity lines were cut. And as of this writing, many people are still missing, and suspected to be dead because of flooding and mudslides.

Typhoon Yolanda 2
DECIMATED. Residents walk through debris and toppled power lines in Tacloban City, Leyte on November 10, 2013, three days after devastating Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the city on November 8, but other areas have yet to be reached. AFP/Ted Aljibeem (photo and caption grabbed from Rappler.com)

Manila was safe and spared from the havoc of the super typhoon but the Visayas Region, specifically the province of Tacloban, was completely destroyed. The typhoon aftermath photos in the news were so terrifying, heartbreaking.

Typhoon Yolanda

A cargo ship washed ashore by super typhoon Yolanda on November 8 is seen in the devastated village of Anibong in Tacloban City on Monday, November 11. Reuters/Romeo Ranoco (photo and caption grabbed from gmanetwork.com)

But despite all these sad news is the light of hope brought by many of my fellowmen eager to help in any way they can. Aside from the government, private individuals are doing their part to help typhoon victims by donating food, clothing, monetary assistance, and even their time to volunteer for relief operations. Also, the overwhelming support from the international community in providing immediate assistance to the typhoon victims is awe-inspiring. Worth mentioning here is the emergency assistance of the Singapore Red Cross Society which sent relief supplies worth S$100,000 and some volunteers.

Singapore Red Cross tweets

I also got this text message from Singtel, largest mobile company in Singapore, where Filipino subscribers were credited 10 mins of free calls, 10 free global SMS and fees are waived when sending remittances (until Sunday) to help Filipinos here in Singapore to stay in touch with their families in the Philippines. The last line in the message hit me, “our thoughts are with you.”

Singtel on Typhoon Yolanda

The humanitarian spirit is so much alive during this difficult times.

Anywhere you may be, you can send help through the following links:

Philippine Red Cross

Singapore Red Cross Society

Catholic Relief Services

Give2Asia

UNICEF

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