Down the Path of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda

Some things go beyond words. At least, beyond mine. So rather than fail miserably to describe the devastation left by Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, I want to show you its path fantasy-holiday-style, and introduce you to some Filipino bloggers and worthwhile organisations along the way.

Young artist's impression.

Young artist’s impression.

Intended for: Anyone who’s been reading the news lately.

Overview: A rapid flyover, taking in everything we hope will be restored – communications, buildings, bridges, other infrastructure, and a bustling tourism industry. Sadly, the lives of many are gone forever.

Strengths: The community we hope will come back from this disaster. The natural world – alluring yet fiercely destructive.

Foreseeable difficulties and mitigating strategies: I can’t begin to imagine, but experienced organisations such as Doctors Without Borders are on the scene doing the best they can. I like Doctors Without Borders because someone who works in aid once told me (take this as you will) that they do a good job and they know when to bow out, and also because they can use the money elsewhere in the fortunate event of being overwhelmed with donations. Various other organisations are also present.

Update: Givewell also recommends Doctors Without Borders (and uses similar arguments.) Their job is to look into effective aid, so theirs is an opinion to take seriously. The linked article gives six tips on donating to disaster relief.

Estimated Price Bracket: Too much.


Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Typhoon 101:

National Geographic gives us a three-minute video intro to weather. Then they tell us how typhoons come about and what’s unusual about Typhoon Yolanda.

From the Blogs:

Charly brings us Lieutenant Colonel Fermin Carangan’s story of survival from the worst-hit area of Tacloban.

Finding Dutchland (in Holland) has a neat summary of events, some links for those checking on family or friends, and one more suggestion of how you can help.

In the Philippines, Vanilla Housewife was ok, and believes those left will heal in the end. She also lists some options for donations. (Thanks, MrsV for the link to Charly’s blog.) Update: she is helping out with a donation drive – and you can help her help.

The Salt of Your Skin was affected by monsoons in the Philippines earlier this year, but managed to avoid this one. Update: she has put up a couple of posts about typhoon relief efforts.

Adrenaline Romance takes us to an area the storm didn’t touch to show us the beauty you can still find in other parts of the country. Update: read also this uplifting post about the ways in which relief is being coordinated.

If you’d like to give a shout out to any other bloggers who’ve spoken about the typhoon or live in the region, please feel free to leave a link in the comments.