Typhoon ‘Yolanda,’ one of the strongest typhoons on record struck the Philippines, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes and knocking out power and communications in several provinces.
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines—Tormented survivors of a typhoon that is feared to have killed more than 10,000 in the Philippines rummaged for food Sunday through debris scattered with corpses, while frenzied mobs looted aid convoys.
Two days after one of the most powerful storms ever recorded flattened entire towns across part of the Southeast Asian archipelago, desperate survival tactics created fresh horrors.
On the outskirts of Tacloban, a coastal eastern city of 220,000 where tsunami-like waves destroyed many buildings, Edward Gualberto accidentally stepped on bodies as he raided the wreckage of a home.
Wearing nothing but a pair of red basketball trousers, the father of four and village councilor apologized for his shabby appearance and for stealing from the dead.
“I am a decent person. But if you have not eaten in three days, you do shameful things to survive,” Gualberto told AFP as he dug canned goods from the debris and flies swarmed over the bodies.
“We have no food, we need water and other things to survive.”
For those who do not have PayPal and/or credit cards and wish to donate cash, this is the most convenient donation portal I’ve seen so far: Simply log in to http://www.bpiexpressonline.com and choose Payments & Reloading > e-Donations > ABS-CBN FOUNDN SAGIP KAPAMILYA.
(This portal of course requires prior enrollment for BPI Express Online and an active BPI bank account.)
Ayala Foundation and Bantay Bata are also listed under e-Donations.
Simpler still: anyone with a cell phone can donate to the Red Cross.
Text RED<space>AMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)
Text DONATE<space>AMOUNT<space>4-digit M-PIN<space>REDCROSS to 2882
You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Rappler collates a list here of groups that receive donations, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, LBC, DSWD, various schools and universities, and local government units. Here is another list by Rappler about Yolanda’s effects per province.
I personally believe cash donations are the way to go. The groups mentioned (especially the Philippine Red Cross) have years of experience in helping and reaching disaster victims. They would know best what items to buy and deliver and in what amount and where. The cash donations would also help defray costs of actually reaching the affected areas, some of which can only be reached via plane or helicopter.
We are safe here in Luzon, most of us stuck at work, but we can still help. Thanks for reading.