A record breaking typhoon struck the Philippines a few weeks ago, and it was no ordinary typhoon. On November 8th, Typhoon Haiyan struck the small group of Pacific islands, and now, more than a month later, the Philippines are still struggling to rebuild after the damage.
The storm set records for wind speed; some winds topped 150 mph, and the waves caused by the wind were over twenty feet tall. The storm tore its way through the Philippines, destroying everything in its path; disaster specialists project that the coastal cities are only 60% intact, and that the total monetary cost to repair is somewhere between 6 billion and 15 billion US dollars. The numbers of recorded dead are still rising in the Philippines, though the current estimate puts that number at around 5,500. That death doll sets another record; Haiyan tops the next most deadly typhoon in modern times by 500 deaths.
Dozens of countries have volunteered relief money to help the Philippines get back on its feet. The United States is one of the foremost donators, but the Philippines are also receiving aid from Japan, China, and assorted Pacific Islands. Luckily for the Philippines, the last ten years have seen an explosion in the economy on the islands, and the Philippine government is optimistic about the situation. On the flip side, the aid that has been given to the Philippines has been limited mainly to money; both the airspace and the oceans surrounding the Philippines are under the jurisdiction of China, who will not allow military vehicles to enter. Late in November, two American B-52 bombers were denied access to the Philippines, on the grounds that they could be harboring spies.
However, this tough political situation has not stopped many people in America from volunteering and donating.
Showing typical fortitude, San Lorenzo Valley High School students are stepping up to the plate to try to help people in need. Everyone helps out in their own way; those who cannot donate tell other people about the disaster, and many students have taken to the internet to protest China’s actions. “I’ve given support online and raised awareness around school,” says Mitchel San Jose. The students who have donated money have given to various local charities, including Valley Churches United Missions, Project Pearls, and the Waves for Water Typhoon initiative. There are also some small fundraisers around school that students are holding to help out victims of Typhoon Haiyan. All the help that has been given is appreciated.
This disaster is one that should not be ignored. Please, for the sake of the lives of millions of people, find a way to help out. Whether with money or other support, step by step we can rebuild after the destruction.