Friday, December 23, 2011

Tragedy for Christmas

Typhoon Sendong or internationally named Washi is the 19th typhoon that hits the Philippine Island this year. Most  part of the country only experience moderately strong rainstorms. But the Visayas and Mindanao island, two of the three major islands of the Philippines felt how strong typhoon Sendong really is. The people of Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and specially Iligan and Cagayan de Oro city are the most affected places. Because of the non - stop heavy downpour for about 24 hours in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro, flash floods and landslides occurred.  Typhoon Sendong left 1002 people dead (as of  12/21/2011) and some still missing. Deforestation is one of the main reason why flood and landslides happen officials said. The government made a concrete grave for the mass burial of the dead bodies because the funerals of the said provinces were already crowded to accept more dead victims of the typhoon.

The Philippine Government, Private Sectors, United Nations and International Organizations such as UNICEF Ireland, The Uniting Church In Australia and World Food Program helped for the donations and search and retrieval operation in  Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City. The internet giant Google also set up a Person Finder Tool to locate people in the disaster affected areas in Northern Mindanao.  They also has a crisis generated map where people can share information regarding the devastated areas of Visayas and Mindanao.

Crisis Generated Map by GOOGLE (source)

For those who want to help, you can donate online through RED CROSS or if you are in the Philippines, you can text RED <amount> to 2899 for Globe Users and 4143 for Smart Users. Amounts are 5, 25, 100, 300 and 1000.

Few more days before Christmas. The survivors of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City will not celebrate the season instead will mourn for their love ones who died, rebuild their home and start their lives over again. Few questions ran into my mind because of the tragedy. Why did this happen? Is this the way of how God remind us to take care of our environment and stop the cutting of trees? and How will the people start their lives knowing almost of their belongings had been taken by the typhoon? Maybe these is really God's will. Maybe he wants to teach us something. God always has his reason. All we have to do is pray and trust him.

God Bless the Philippines!! 

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