In less than a week, earthquakes, tsunamis and typhoons have struck several different countries in Oceania, East and Southeast Asia.
Previous Global Voices posts have kept us informed about what is going on at ground level in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Vietnam with Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) and about the series of strong earthquakes in Indonesia (1 and 2) just a day after the Samoa Earthquake which triggered a tsunami.
Through video uploading platforms, citizens who are experiencing these natural disasters and their aftermath have shared their video clips, so that people from other regions can identify the extent of the damages.
YouTube's CitizenTube blog have written a couple of posts regarding these events. This first one has a playlist of clips of the Samoa Earthquake and Tsunami aftermath:
And this other post has several videos of the aftermath of the Sumatran earthquake.
This one has families outside their homes, running to grab railings in case there's an aftershock:
This other shows a street view of what seems to be a shopping center with extensive damage and an area on fire:
This next video regards Typhoon (Ketsana) Ondoy, which hit the Philippines. In it you can see the extensive flooding, and the cameraman writes this in his description:
I just got back from the river's edge 5 minutes ago. A 10-15 feet height differential between the Marikina River and the embankment has now been reduced to the point that water is splashing against the high-rises of Eastwood, Metro Manila. A security guard for this sealed off area approaches me and covers me with his umbrella while I snap pictures from my phone. “Where are the police or firemen?” I asked. He first points at a speck in the middle of the river 300-400 meters out to my right. “That was a woman with her 2 year old infant clinging on to her. She passed through here in the middle of the river – waving at us for help. There was nothing we could do – she had passed though within 5 seconds. We've been seeing other people washed away.” We watched helplessly at the 20+ people 200 meters away that are now sitting on top of their corrugated roof-tops as the river rages beneath them on their submerged homes… waiting for emergency personnel yet to come.
This video, also about the flooding, shows a different face to the emergency, in the rapidly rising waters, a group of children can be seen playing and enjoying themselves:
It seems that humor has become one of the ways to cope with natural disasters for Filipinos. For example, in this blog post a message by Gwendolyn So is reposted, where she tells of her 10+ years experiencing flooding in her home at least once a year, you can see that even in the midst of trying to rescue furniture, goods and family, there is a space for having fun:
5. You can have fun in the midst of disaster so I took out our cameras and starting taking pictures. It was to make everyone have a good laugh as we surveyed the chaos around us, the cockroaches and rats swimming by, the black inky spots of oily stuff occasionally floating around.
At the end, she puts things in perspective:
It is easy to go insane after this kind of calamity, to despair of the material things we lost (especially the cars), but please be thankful you got away with your life and that of your family and loved ones
Image used to illustrate post by IronChefBalara according to CC attribution license