|Photo from Boston.com's The Big Picture: Typhoon Haiyan in Pictures.|
It was this time last week that the world saw the terrifying radar images of a 600km wide super typhoon travelling steadily towards my homeland, The Philippines. I was certain that Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda as it is known in The Philippines) would ravage the entire country—our little group of islands is so small, and the typhoon was so big, it seemed impossible to avoid. A majority of my (quite large) extended family live in The Philippines. The only thing we could do from the comfort of our offices and homes here in Australia was to wait, and hope.
Thankfully, my family remain safe. But millions of others were not so lucky. Aside from the thousands of dead, millions of children and families are homeless and have been without food or water for days. The risk of disease is high, because the authorities and aid organisations have not yet been able to bury the dead, and there are little to no medical supplies.
This is not the first natural disaster to hit The Philippines this year, with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hitting Bohol just last month (the deadliest in 23 years). Life for Filipinos is already so hard, and for many it will be harder still. Mother Nature so often shows us how fragile, small and insignificant we are in this universe—it is so easy to get caught up in things that we covet, in our own lives, that the lives of those who are praying for the very things we take for granted become distant, and we forget to be thankful for all that we have.
But amongst the world's corruption, greed and anger, there remains empathy, strength, and generosity. The amount of support and love pouring in for The Philippines the world over is so heartwarming. We are united when we are in need, because we are all part of the same thing.
You can donate to help those affected by the typhoon at:
- Red Cross Australia
- Unicef Australia
- World Vision Australia
- For Philippines With Love
- For more links to various aid organisations, please visit SBS News.