by: Rey Andres
Super typhoon Yolanda left in its wake unprecedented destruction in lost lives and properties worth billions of dollars and exposed the truth on the coping ability of the Filipino people and government.
The total devastation described as “worse than hell” wrought by the 250-kilometer per hour wind of the mega howler exposed the state of unpreparedness of the local and national leadership to deal with catastrophes of such magnitude totally laying bare such incompetence not seen in neighboring countries hit with more damaging wraths of nature.
Declaring the destruction as a “national calamity” President Benigno (BS) Aquino III has appeared to have been overcome by the formidable tasks of rehabilitation and rebuilding that loom ahead.
The exodus have begun for many of the poor victims of the calamity in Tacloban City and other affected whose hopes and futures have been dashed irreparably. All these people wanted was out and to be out of dangers path even at the cost of leaving behind memories in their previous
With death toll climbing from a preliminary count of more than 2.300 and more than 600,000 left permanently homeless in one of the poorest regions in the Philippines, the typhoon has left behind months or even years of rehabilitation work that in any language only means more work. Estimates had it that those who suffered Typhoon Yolanda’s (also known Haiyan) brunt range from 7 to 11 million people with an economic cost of about a low estimate of $15 billion.
In the midst of the seemingly helpless catastrophic situation those who made it through the storms and after days of not getting any help had to resort to criminal acts to survive. A combination of hunger, thirst and utter desperation had made them show their unfavorable other sides made worst by the destruction and smell of death around them.
Natural disasters have claimed millions of lives through disease, devastation and starvation and human behavior contributes to how severe the problems could be and may add to death toll. Human behavior can also contribute to how severe the problem is and may add to the death toll.
The Philippines has exposed some inadequacies in the manner of dealing with calamities. The reactive stance the national leadership assumes has made matters worse in terms of casualties and properties. As an aftermath of the disastrous event, many have already indicted the Philippine leadership with the “lack of any system of structure to keep things in order in the affected areas and over the entire country even on normal circumstances.” This is magnified when disasters strike as in Tacloban City and its environs.
In an effort to do damage control because of the inadequate pre-disaster preparations, the national leadership has assumed stricter control of managing the rescue and work in the affected areas.
The Philippine disaster might have been confined to the Visayas area, but the extent of the emotional and physical loses transcended human boundaries and has awakened in the hearts of the many a kind of empathy which they expressed through various means they are capable of mastering. More than one hundred countries around the world responded to help by sending logistics, medicine, water and a lot of things that would hasn’t the return to normalcy of the affected communities. Filipinos worldwide reached to friends to conduct fundraising in whatever way they could to help. Aware that the typhoon left the survivors with only the shirts on their backs, they were quick to pull out from their closets numerous items that they hope will reach the victims.
Filipino organizations, big and small, answered the call of their motherland for any assistance that they may extend. This is one instance where once again the Filipinos who grew up under the spirit of bayanihan will experience the inner joy of joining hands with their kababayan in extending the warmth concern for their calamity-stricken in many parts of the world.
Yes, the situations are chaotic, but assurance remains that somebody somewhere a Filipino still cares.