We must stop calling events like these as natural disasters. It is not natural when people continue to struggle to eradicate poverty and pursue development and gets battered by the onslaught of a monster storm now considered as the strongest storm ever to hit land. It is not natural when science already tells us that global warming will induce more intense storms. It is not natural when the human species has already profoundly changed the climate.
-Yeb Sano, lead negotiator of the Philippines government speaking at the UN Climate Summit in Poland.
On November 8, 2013 the devastating storm super typhoon Haiyan hit the islands of Central Philippines, caused a tsunami-like surge to kill more than 4000 people in an instant. Thousands more have been stranded in a wasteland that used to be their homes.
In the aftermath of Haiyan, locally referred to as Yolanda, government assistance and aid has been slow to arrive to the affected islands, especially the remote islands of the typhoon-ravaged provinces in the Visayas. There, dead bodies still lie on the street and many home owners have become refugees begging for food.
The provinces of Leyte and Samar are among the worst-hit areas. More than 11 million people have been affected by the typhoon, according to the UN. The storm destroyed at least 80,000 homes, leaving more than 582,000 homeless, according to the latest Philippine government estimates.
Watch our discussion, “Haiyan Survivors Are Desperately Seeking Water, Food and Aid. How Can We Help?” recorded on Google Hangouts November 15, 2013 4pm UTC.
May 11 – After Six Months, Typhoon Haiyan Victims Continue to Demand Relief and Justice in the Philippines
Feb 1 – Philippine Typhoon Haiyan Victims Join ‘People Surge’ Protest
Jan 21 – Philippine Typhoon Haiyan Victims Complain of Slow Relief and Substandard Shelters
Dec 27 – Haze and Haiyan: Southeast Asia’s Deadly Disasters of 2013
Dec 23 – 10 Global Haiyan Relief Efforts That Touched Filipino Hearts
Dec 16 – Typhoon Haiyan: A Story of Resilience in a Short Doc
Dec 6 – 4 Tragic Stories from Relief Volunteers in Typhoon-Hit Philippines
Nov 23 – After Haiyan Disaster, Philippines Calls for Relief and Justice for Climate Change Victims
Nov 20 – COP19: Fasting For The Climate
Nov 17 – Why CNN is Getting Praise and Flak for its Philippine Storm Coverage
Nov 15 – GV Face: Helping Haiyan Survivors in the Philippines
Nov 15 – How You Can Help Philippine Typhoon Victims
Nov 13 – Philippine Typhoon Survivors Ask: ‘Where is our Government?’
Nov 12 – PHOTOS: Philippine Typhoon Survivors Desperate For Food, Water and Aid
Nov 11 – PHOTOS: Philippine Villages Reduced to Wasteland by Super Typhoon Haiyan
Nov 10 – PHOTOS: Super Typhoon Haiyan Devastates Central Philippines
Scale of the Disaster
How you can help
The Philippine government has compiled a recommended list of agencies which can receive international donations. Several Philippine foundations and schools are also accepting all kinds of aid. Donations can be sent even through iTunes and mobile phones as well. Western Union will not charge money transfers to the Philippines until the end of the month.
- Help Typhoon survivors through the American Red Cross
- To Help Typhoon Victims, Send Money, Not Stuff (Report by AP)
- Help Typhoon survivors through Care
Looking for loved ones?
The Philippine government’s official website provides updates of the impact of Haiyan and relief activities. Those looking for missing relatives or friends can seek help through the Google Person Finder and the Philippine Red Cross tracing form. Meanwhile, the government has uploaded a list of deceased persons in the typhoon-ravaged provinces.
Please contact our Manila-based South East Asia Editor Mong Palatino for story ideas and resources for this page.