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  • Typhoon Haima Makes Landfall in the Philippines

    typhoon-haima-via-noaa Typhoon Haima Typhoon Haima - Image via NOAA

    Typhoon Haima may have just recently lost its status as a super typhoon, but wind speeds are still careening at 140 mph and has just made landfall in the northern Philippines. Haima, one of the most powerful storm since Haiyan in 2013, Haima looks to add more destruction and flooding to the already soaked Philippines thanks to the recent Typhoon Sarika. Sarika made landfall just a few days previously.

    Fortunately, according to forecasters, Haima looks to be heading to less populated areas in Northern Luzon. That, and those up in the North deal with many typhoons each year, so they know what to expect.

    haima-track-via-accuweather Typhoon Haima Typhoon Haima's predicted track - via AccuWeather

    According to The Weather Network, a storm surge of up to 10 feet is expected, as well as more than a foot of rain over northern Luzon. It is expected to remain a violent storm as it nears China, and may also impact Hong Kong. The image to the right is Typhoon Haima’s predicted path through Sunday. While it will continue to dwindle in strength as it crosses the South China Sea, even a category 1 storm can be devastating.

    The Philippines is hammered by an average of 20 tropical storms each year. Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 killed more than 6,000 people. Because northern Luzon is less sparsely populated, it is hoped that casualties will be much lower, and damages less sever. However, being such a strong storm, there is still expected to be heavy damages.

    The Philippines Red Cross is already waiting to help those in need, along with other emergency agencies. There is not much news at the present as to how the storm is progressing as it makes landfall, but we will keep tabs on the situation as the storm progresses.


    Disaster_Blog_Banner Typhoon Haima

  • Super Typhoon Lando Blasts Through the Philippines

    Being in the Philippines during a small, tropical storm was an unpleasant experience, to say the least. That was 10 years ago, and while we were without power for 10 days and running water for just a few, it was nothing compared to what the Philippines gets on a regular basis.

    This weekend, a super typhoon known locally as Lando (Lando System?) barreled its way through the Philippines, killing at least 16, injuring more, and displacing more than 60,000 people. The storm knocked over trees, homes, and power lines, causing power outages in nine provinces.

    Flooded Streets - WWNT Radio via WWNT Radio

    The streets in the Philippines are prone to flooding during short bursts of heavy rain. This storm system brought heavy rain for a long duration. Some homes were flooded up to the rooftops. Many people were in the middle of the harvest when the storm hit, so not only will rebuilding affect their homes, but their livelihoods as well. Flash flooding is feared for the Metro Manila area (which area has about 12 million people in an area the size of New York City).

    Many of the towns North of Manila that were hit by torrential rain were “lulled into complacency” because the storm had move up and away from them, and did not strike those areas with its full power. However, just because the typhoon didn’t hit those areas head on, the rain it produced from even the edges of the typhoon drenched many villages, bringing floods many feet deep.

    The Philippines is one of the most heavy-hit countries in the world when it comes to typhoons. They know very well what these kinds of storms can bring, and yet they still can become complacent. This complacency can be dangerous, especially considering the relative unpredictability of many natural disasters. Even the ones we can track, such as hurricanes, can shift without warning, or bring more rain than anticipated, such as Lando did in the Philippines.

    Sitting on Roof - BBC via BBC

    Being prepared with escape plans, food, water, and communication are all vitally important. But it’s also important to prepare with an expectation that things can go downhill fast. For the people in the Philippines, I admit it is much more difficult for them to prepare for such things than for us. The way their cities and towns are laid out, flooding is a constant problem, and there is almost no way to keep that flood water out of their home. The best they can do is brace for impact and hope for the best.

    Our infrastructure in the United States is better. Water can be soaked up by grass (lawns are virtually non-existent in the Philippines), and our drainage systems work pretty well. Of course, during any form of heavy rain, we may experience backed up drains and sewers. Bracing for storms involves gathering sandbags and other supplies that can help push back the floods.

    Filipinos don’t have that luxury. We do. And we need to make sure we’re using our resources in ways that will protect us. Waiting until the last minute to buy emergency food for an oncoming storm can leave you empty handed. This happens all the time. A storm comes, and grocery store shelves go bare. Finding backup power sources may be more difficult than you think if you wait too long. Water is the same way.

    While my heart goes out to those in the Philippines, my thoughts are also turned to us, here. We need to take the time to prepare before a storm comes our way. And remember, it could be more than just a super typhoon. Tornadoes, earthquakes, or even job loss or accidents could keep you from providing for yourself and your family.

    And so, while the Philippines works on rebuilding after the Lando System blew through, it is my hope that we can take this time to prepare before the next big event comes rushing towards us. And for everyone in the Philippines, I wish you luck and success in your recovery. Kaya ninyo!


    What do you do to prepare for disasters? Let us know in the comments!


    Click here for more information on hurricane preparedness
  • Update from the Philippines

    Philippines Update

    In November, Emergency Essentials worked with CharityVision to send supplies to the Philippines to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan after it ripped through their country. After gathering supplies, fourteen members of CharityVision flew down mid-November to bring a spark of hope to the people in Leyte.

    Many of the volunteers working with CharityVision already spoke the local languages (having served church-related missions to the area) and had medical backgrounds such as emergency room doctors and nurses, physician assistants, medical doctors, or rescue professionals. Once they arrived, volunteers immediately worked to provide medical attention to people of all ages and to clear roads of downed trees and other debris.

    When reflecting on the team’s efforts in the Philippines, Tom Aguilar of Omnimed (another Utah company sponsoring the effort) said, “This CharityVision advance team [is] completely self-contained and equipped. They each hand-carried 150 pounds of every imaginable form of medicines and supplies, tools, and solar equipment . . .”

     Philippines Update: CharityVision's efforts

    Despite the efforts of CharityVision and other volunteers, the conditions of the country are still bleak with destruction as thousands of homeless refugees seek food and clean water. However, volunteer and locals alike are working to rebuild homes, and lives, within the destroyed community.

     Philippines Update: Charity Vision using the Katadyn Water Filter to purify water supplies

    CharityVision continues to send groups roughly every 10 days, focusing more on reconstruction than medical care although they still play an important role in helping the people. In January, another group will head over to help rebuild the infrastructure of the health system and provide additional relief work, according to Jon Woozley, one of the volunteers of CharityVision.

    To read the rest of how CharityVision is working to provide relief to those in the Philippines, check out their article: http://globalgoods.com/yolanda11-20.html

    As we remember those still experiencing the aftermath of this natural disaster, let’s not forget the power of community involvement and volunteer efforts in giving aid.  There are many good, reputable organizations still accepting donations to help in the Philippines. We encourage you to donate if you are able.

    For more information on how to prepare and help others to survive through natural disasters like this, check out our Insight Articles to make sure you know what to do if one strikes in your area:

    Hurricane Preparedness

    Avalanche Safety

    What to Do Before, During, and After a Flood

    Earthquake Preparedness

    Preparing for a Tornado

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