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Tropical Storm Sendong Devastates the Visayas and Mindanao

Updated on June 6, 2012

Heavy rains caused flood waters to rise one meter (3 feet) high in less than an hour

A week before Christmas, typhoon Sendong (international name: Washi), one of the worst (if not the worst) typhoon to hit the Visayas and Mindanao this year, created havoc in various cities in this part of the Philippines.

The devastation was so unexpected in various areas in Mindanao, mainly because this island is seldom hit by such a typhoon. In fact, based on experience (as I used to live in Mindanao), I never saw a typhoon signal rise higher than Signal Number 1 in Northern Mindanao. Imagine my surprise when I heard that the typhoon signal was actually Signal Number 2 for Northern Mindanao.

But I digress. Sendong hit the islands on Friday evening, catching the residents unaware when the flood waters came down from the mountains early Saturday morning. The flood and the landslides were so unexpected that they barely had time to run for their lives, let alone prepare for this calamity.

As I write this hub, the death toll has risen to almost 700, with almost a thousand people still unaccounted for. Thousands of families have been displaced and are now in evacuation areas, their houses and all their possessions gone. Whole villages have been washed away to the sea. Three days after everything came crashing down, we are still reeling from the after effects of this tropical storm.

One of the villages that was swept away by the flood waters.
One of the villages that was swept away by the flood waters. | Source
Scattered debris and destroyed houses
Scattered debris and destroyed houses | Source

Lives Lost

As of this morning (Dec. 19, 2011), there are already more than 700 people who are confirmed dead, with more than 900 people still missing. The cities that are most affected are Cagayan de Oro City (where more than 470 bodies have been recovered) and Iligan City. Death tolls have also been recorded in Bukidnon, Compostela Valley, the Lanao and the Zamboanga del Norte provinces. The province of Negros Oriental (particularly Dumaguete City) in the Visayas area is also affected by floods.

Update: Death toll had reached to almost 1,000. The country's president declared a state of national calamity.


Sendong is quite a mild storm compared to Ondoy or the other typhoons. However, it packed a lot of rainwater (one month’s worth or so), causing massive floods all around. It was reported that flood waters reached levels much taller than an average Filipino. In the aftermath of Sendong, we could see people walking on waist – high (even chest – high) flood waters. Cars, SUVs and pick – up trucks were also seen piled one on top of the other as the flood waters subsided in several areas. Houses were swept away towards the sea, with some of their residents still clinging on their rooftops. The pictures that are flashed on news reports and in the newspaper attest to the amount of devastation caused by this tropical storm.

LBC accepts donations in any of its branches.
LBC accepts donations in any of its branches. | Source

News on Tropical Storm Washi

Typhoon Sendong Hits Iligan City

Help Pours

As millions of Filipinos watched what happened to our countrymen in the Visayas and Mindanao, help and assistance started pouring in. Military personnel had been dispatched to the affected areas to help in looking for the dead victims, the missing and the survivors and bring relief to the survivors. Various government agencies have been mobilizing to bring in food, clothing and other things the evacuees need. Various NGOs and the private sector have sent (and are still sending) everything they can to help out the victims. International communities and other countries are offering much needed assistance to help my country.

Donations Accepted

Various entities have already set up donation drives to bring in funds, food, clothing and other items needed by those affected by Tropical Storm Sendong. Among those entities are the Philippine Red Cross, which is perhaps the most active in the private sector. Almost 500 of its staff and volunteers are deployed in the affected areas to see what are really needed. It has an SMS donation facility. The organization also accepts online donation and donations through direct deposits. If you want to know more, see link below.

LBC Express, a remittance and courier company, also accepts donations in kind for the flood victims. You can drop off your donations in any of its branches. See photo on the right side to know how.

JRS Express and Air 21, also remittance and courier companies, are also accepting donations in kind in their branches around the country/

The foundations of the major TV networks of the country are also accepting donations. They have peso and dollar (for those who are from other countries) bank accounts where the donors can deposit their cash donations.

Cebuana Lhuillier, one of the leading pawnshops in the country, is also accepting donations in its 1,500 branches all over the country.

Of course, you can always drop off your donations to the concerned government agencies such as the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

What are most needed right now – bottled water, food, medicine, medical supplies, clothes, blankets, sleeping mats, diapers and milk. It goes without saying that cash is needed as well.

Final Note

This hub is a bit late in terms of providing an update about Tropical Storm Sendong and its aftermath. The hubber believes that her countrymen will need all the help they can get in the days to come. If this hub can reach more people and get more people to help out, the hubber has achieved her intent. Thank you to all those who read this hub, who prayed for the victims and who donated (or will donate) to help out Sendong’s victims.


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    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      It is shocking and your detailed hub brings even more the tragety to ones mind. I hope they will be soon helped and great idea for your appeal which will help.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Xavier. you can get in touch with DSWD to see how you can volunteer.

    • profile image

      Xavier 6 years ago

      Hi, I am eager to help in the aftermath of typhoon Washi. I will be in the Philippines for Christmas and I would really like to volunteer my time in some capacity. Could you please advise me on how to go about this.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks Teddletonmr

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Thanks for sharing the news and your insights.

      Best wishes. Teddletonmr

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

      Hi Del. You can go to LBC and verify that they will ship the clothes for free. Just tell them that the clothes are for Typhoon Sendong (or Typhoon Washi) victims in the Philippines. Thanks.

    • profile image

      del 6 years ago

      hi.. i came from jakarta indonesia and i am interested of helping those victims of typhoon by sending clothes.. yet i never know how? there is LBC in here but i dont know what to do? should i just go there and say i brouth clothes to help sendong victims? do i need to pay for the transfortation cost from here to philippines? pleade give me some information of how can i send help.. thanks and God bless..