The whole world has been glued to CNN as it reports the cataclysmic destruction of super typhoon “Haiyan”/”Yolanda” in the Philippines. “Haiyan”/”Yolanda” had very strong winds that gusted up to 235 mph or 380 kph (according to the JTWC in Honolulu, the US Navy’s warning center). Hardest hit were the provinces of Leyte and Samar in the Eastern Visayas, where the super typhoon made its initial landfalls. The overwhelming devastation is unprecedented and beyond belief. By simply observing the sheer destruction of the coastal cities and towns of Leyte and Samar, journalists are estimating that thousands of people have been killed.
Metropolitan Manila, some 800 hundred kilometers northwest of Leyte and Samar provinces, was fortunately spared the wrath of “Haiyan”/”Yolanda.” But had the super typhoon passed the capital, it is most likely that the Philippines would have ground to a complete halt. It would have destroyed the metropolis the way it did Tacloban city in Leyte.
As the news came slowly of the terrible destruction in Leyte and Samar provinces, all over the country typically kindhearted Filipinos started setting aside rice, canned goods, clothes, medicines, etc for the victims of the latest disaster. From Northern Luzon to Southern Mindanao, Filipinos set aside little somethings (sometimes big somethings) and brought them to collection centers for relief goods. In public markets, small groceries, big supermarkets, and even high-end food stores, customers bought extra supplies for the super typhoon “Yolanda” victims. The same thing happened in drug stores and medical supplies stores. The great collective charity of the Filipino people was/is truly amazing.
And then the countries of the world extended their generous helping hands to the beleaguered Philippines. The USA United States of America, Canada, the UK United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, The Vatican, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Russia, PROC China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Fiji, India, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE United Arab Emirates, et al . The incredible outpouring of sincere and generous assistance was largely unexpected and the Filipino nation is grateful, very grateful, for all the expert help extended in this terrible hour of great need. Humanity at its best.