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Philippine Scene # 18 - Tropical Cyclone Yolanda

Updated on November 17, 2013

It came, it killed...

Dateline: November 7, 2013 Yolanda entered Philippines!!!

From the PAG-ASA (Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services administration) forecast and its actual fury, tropical cyclone Yolanda (or Haiyan , its international name) entered the Philippine area of Responsibility (PAR) with massive havoc of storm surges (white squall, subasko in local term) and strongest winds (plus twisters), destroying vast land areas of Guiuan, Samar;Tacloban, Leyte & nearby city of Ormoc; Capiz in Aklan, Bantayan Island in Cebu, Iloilo, Mindoro and Busuanga & Coron, Palawan.

Yolanda came hard and fast but also leaving an apocalyptic destruction killing thousands of Filipinos in the said affected areas.

An aerial view of Yolanda, considered to be the strongest tropical cyclone that ever visited this side of the Pacific had shown its massive coverage, also destroying fellow Asian country Vietnam after it exited the country last Saturday.

November 10, 2013: The aftermath of Yolanda

President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino (P-Noy) immediately visited the areas that were greatly destroyed but became devastated as he cannot accept the errors of reporting relayed by different disaster groups.

He got irritated when some officials just called the aftermath of Yolanda, just a 'minor' devastation, where in fact those areas immediately became ghost towns, leaving trails of dead people inside the toppled and destroyed houses and buildings.

Due to the scarcity of potable water, immediate relief assistance and temporary shelters, most men (young and old) were forced to loot major commercial establishments at their place in order to appease their hunger.

Immediate effort to sustain communication among displaced family members and search for missing persons were given by the major communication systems (Smart, Globe, Sun) through the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development), the NDCC (National Disaster Coordinating Council), its regional arms and private communication groups, reporting the damages that were left by Yolanda.

The confusion as to how many have perished will not matter now.

In the next months, years or so,fellow Filipinos will start to rebuild their lives again; carrying a hurting lesson on how to live and escape the wrath of Mother Nature.

Storm Surge during Superstorm Yolanda

Photo Source: OFW (sa buong mundo)
Photo Source: OFW (sa buong mundo)

ABS-CBN News team survives super typhoon c/o TheABSCBNNews

Knowing Yolanda aka Typhoon Haiyan

At the start of the forecast, a week before it came in the Philippines, I used to sing the song of Pink Martini titled 'Donde estas, Yolanda?'

Now, it lives a bitter taste whenever I hum the song due to the ill-effects that Yolanda left in my country.

It's international Chine Name 'Haiyan' is derived from the tube-nosed seabird called petrels, that abound in the Micronesia part of the Pacific.

Foreign weather forecasters considered it as the strongest typhoon (with signal #4 category) to ever visit the nation.

It started as a low-pressure area, then a tropical depression in the Pacific on November 2 and intensified into becoming a tropical storm.

On November 4 until 6, it developed a deepening central dense overcast and the eye is celarly visible when viewed on satellite.

A local television weather forecaster/host, Kim Atienza of ABS-CBN clearly described that the usual norm of a typhoon is that it breaks its eye when it perform its landfall, but Yolanda's eye never wavered and stayed intact upon completing its ordeal in the archipelago, particularly in southern Luzon and the Visayan islands.

At 1800 UTC, the JTWC (Joint Tyhoon Warning Center) estimated the system's one-minute sustained winds to 315 km/h (195 mph), unofficially making Haiyan the fourth most intense tropical cyclone ever observed.

Philippines, the first landfall of Yolanda aka Haiyan


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Donations needed to all typhoon victims

Food, clothing, potable water and shelter assistance are some of the help we can give to all typhoon victims.

Right now, as the usual scenes are the long pile of people asking for relief goods that the government agencies cannot delivered promptly or in time.

The media personalities who reported live the actual scenes of the ravaged areas paved the way to concerned private institutions to augment efforts in delivering the much-need emergency services a day after the storm.

Here in Bicol region, which was less affected by the cyclone, the tri-media and private entities, peoples organization and NGOs (non-government organizations) are clamoring for help from the fortunate families who were spared by the devastation to donate money or in kind that are badly needed by the victims.

International organization, like the umbrella/main arm of the United Nations, Red Cross even foreign military services (like US army) immediately extended assistance after the storm.

Note: A possible implementation of 'Martial Law' is in the offing once the disorganized or disenfranchised people continue to act barbaric due to hunger as they continue looting properties of local businessmen and rich families.

Relief Goods to be collected for disaster victims

Perishable Goods
Non-Perishable Goods
Building materials
Drinking Water
Land for squatters

Nov. 7, 2013 Clouds darkening before Yolanda's landfall

travel_man1971 in  the middle of the rice-fields (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)
travel_man1971 in the middle of the rice-fields (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala)

Messages of Hope to all Filipinos after Yolanda

Social media, like Facebook and Twitter, became the most useful channels to all concerned people and agencies , with the likes of Pope Francis, UN, Red Cross, CNN...delivering messages of hope, admiring the tenacity and resiliency of Filipino people that can never be toppled down even by the strongest cyclone, like Yolanda.

It is because Filipinos are God-fearing people, the only Christian country in this area of the Pacific.

Prayer brigade, storm prayers were seen being shared through online media and even on cellular phones, to make us aware that amid the riches and material things we savor and enjoy on Earth, it's still up to the Lord whether He will consent of our personal caprices and earthly favors.

As I heard and viewed the Sunday Mass (Nov. 9, 2013) on television, the officiating priest explained that we can never be saved by those protective equipment if God will take our lives away from us.

Typhoon Yolanda relief operations are now on going.

With all the prayers and messages of hope we are uttering and giving through the media, it's a much-needed move to give you donations immediately to all right, authentic agencies that will surely funnel our aid to those who are affected by the catastrophic damages of typhoon Yolanda.

Preparing for the storm Yolanda

I sealed some spots of the roofing of our house before the storm (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)
I sealed some spots of the roofing of our house before the storm (Photo Source: Ireno Alcala aka travel_man1971)

Carabao & heron gracing the rice-field before Yolanda's arrival

Photo Source: Ireno Alcala
Photo Source: Ireno Alcala

Reaching out to all typhoon victims

The procedure to follow when giving assistance to all typhoon victims or in similar disastrous aftermath will be:

  1. Inform the link agency or private charity group about your intention to give or donate.
  2. Itemize the donations you are going to give, whether its perishable (food items-noodles, sardines, biscuits, bottled water, packed foods, toiletries and medicines) or non-perishable (clothing, home-building materials or money).
  3. Collect the bulk of donation in your area through the help of the local council or organization that will carry it to the drop-zone or link agency or entity.
  4. Be sure to communicate with the agency and record if your aid is already delivered to the victims.

The mode of delivery or transportation can be by land (bus, jeepney, trucking services), air (through C130 planes of military groups, cargo planes) and water (motorboat, cargo ships or even banca, manually maneuvered small boat).

Volunteers are badly needed in times like this.

There are always heroes in dire of emergency. It can be you, me and the whole populace who honestly care for the welfare of the needy.

Nasty remarks regarding Filipinos as Supertyphoon Yolanda strikes Philippines

Canadian elementary teacher Jax Cote attacks Filipinos online with her racist comments regarding Super Typhoon Yolanda.

Looks like someone is gonna be losing her Facebook account or might even lose her teaching job!

Another Devina Dediva! A teacher should not be posting nasty remarks like these. Disgusting!

Cote comments: “so this means the world is getting rid a whole wack of Phillipino’s? about time God cleaned house!”

Some Filipinos and concerned citizen rebutted her offensive comment.

Tanya Allan · Will Sinclair High School:Lady you are an abomination, if you were my child's teacher you would be facing the wrath of one seriously pissed off mother. Hope you lose your job and never teach again!

I believe Remy Comada said it the best.

"It is not for me to judge on what I believe is the verbalization of ill-thought ideas. No, Ms. Jax Cote will be judged in time by the One who's judgement matters.

I only hope that appropriate people see this and decide that with such hatred towards others, such bigotry, that she is no longer in a position to teach her beliefs to children, who still have open minds."

Note: Eventually, she will reason out that her account is hacked for fear of losing her job.

Exclusive view of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)

Part of the message of the site: OFW (sa buong mundo) on Facebook

According to reports, the first Red Cross volunteers from the U.S. have begun arriving in the capital city of Manila, and more than 1,200 people are feared dead. However, true casualties in Philippine storms are never truly known and are always much higher than estimates claim.

Much of the country is populated by squatters who live in over-populated shanty villages, in which accurate populations are hard to account for, as are accurate accounts of how many people go missing at times like these. Many of the squatter villages are built along the banks of streams for better access to water sources, and entire villages have often been swept away in the dead of night during flash floods. The nation sits barely above sea level, and when it rains hard, as is the case when typhoons roll in, there is simply no place for the water to go, and it often rises faster than people can send an alarm, or even be awakened.

Gwendolyn Pang, Philippine Red Cross secretary general, said her organization estimated 1,200 people had died.

Note: With much gratitude to the administrators of the OFW Facebook Page who are continuously monitoring the outcome of the crisis Which Filipinos are suffering as of this writing (Nov. 11, 2013).

Damages incurred after the wake of Yolanda

Photo Source: Manila Bulletin
Photo Source: Manila Bulletin

24 Oras: Pinsala ng Super Typhoon Yolanda sa Palo, Leyte c/o GMA News

Donations keep pouring in for Yolanda's victims

Canada is donating PHP 206M for #YolandaPH victims.

“Canada is deeply concerned by the impact of this catastrophic typhoon,” said Canadian Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie Christian Paradis said in a statement (Manila Bulletin).

36 Million Dirhams from Mr Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of UAE , donation for the Philippines affected by typhoon yolanda. You have a big heart .!!Allah knows your kindness (OFW sa buong mundo).

£6m UK aid for Philippines victims Britain has committed almost £6 million of emergency help and sent additional experts to the Philippines to help with the aftermath of tropical cyclone Yolanda (OFW sa buong mundo).

A Week after 'Yolanda'

Nov.17, 2013 Situationers

  1. President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III (P-Noy) already gave a national message and put the affected provinces in 'state of calamity' and disbursed government emergency funds for the rehabilitation of the said provinces. It will involve: people's relocation, rebuilding homes and repair of infrastructures (roads, bridges and public facilities).
  2. Most of Yolanda survivors begun a massive exodus, from Eastern Visayas (mostly from Leyte) going to Manila. C130 cargo plane of military forces (whether it's from our country or foreign allies) are ferrying residents who wanted to start their lives anew in the big city.
  3. Trucks carrying relief goods from government and private entities are lining up at Matnog Port in Sorsogon, Bicol region. Ferry boats and inter-island ships (RORO-type) cannot accommodate most of them, so, most of the truckers have to wait for a week in order to be scheduled for transfer in in Samar and Leyte, the two most affected provinces.
  4. National television stations are busy receiving donations, both in cash or in kind, and the public are able to volunteer in repacking those relief goods.
  5. Entertainment artists are the ones influencing the public in order to participate in the massive relief operations by conducting auctions, concerts and humanitarian efforts where all proceeds will benefit the typhoon survivors.

CNN interviews Pnoy on super typhoon YOLANDA (HAIYAN) c/o TheHottesttrends


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    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @vibesites: I also hope that it will be distributed fairly among Yolanda survivors. Thank you for calling the attention of those politicians.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @TrademarkServices: Thanks for the link. )

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @travelersguide:Thanks again for that meaningful reminder.

    • vibesites profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      I only hope that the donations -- local and international -- will really go to the victims. Enough of politicking. I pray that they people in the Visayas region would surmount this tragedy.

    • travelersguide profile image

      Jaslyn Lim 

      4 years ago from Singapore

      My prayers to your country and the people.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @ChitrangadaSharan: Thanks for the hub-visit. The magnitude of the storm was so disastrous that thousands of people were injured and hundreds perished.

      The lives of the survivors are forever changed. But with HOPE and FAITH in GOD still in the hearts of many Filipinos, I'm sure that fast recovery will be seen.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @AliciaC: Thanks for dropping by. We've faced the strongest typhoon, ever, but what we're clinging into nowadays are the worldwide support that the victims are receiving.

      Recovery will be slow but with lots of prayers and sympathetic messages online, time will heal all wounds that Yolanda left in the hearts of the survivors.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @AliciaC: Thanks for dropping by. We've faced the strongest typhoon, ever, but what we're clinging into nowadays are the worldwide support that the victims are receiving.

      Recovery will be slow but with lots of prayers and sympathetic messages online, time will heal all wounds that Yolanda left in the hearts of the survivors.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @tirelesstraveler: Thank you. It's good to know that you're one of many hubbers who care about the plight of Filipino victims, nowadays.

      We're on the recovery period, as of Nov. 17, 2013. Although, delivery of relief goods is a little bit slow but humanitarian efforts are overwhelming.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @billybuc: Thanks for the prayers, Sir Bill. Yolanda victims are still in limbo, trying to get out of their places and seek shelter and comfort away from the ravaged areas.

      Help coming from other countries (more than 30 countries are sending out donations and manpower) are overwhelming.

      And we, Filipinos, are so grateful with such gestures of sympathy and charity.

    • TrademarkServices profile image

      Stephen Orr 

      4 years ago from Burton, Michigan

      Here is a great book about living and visiting the Phillipines,

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      We have been watching the News on Television. So tragic and so devastating! My prayers with all those affected by this Nature' s fury! Hope life is normal again over there.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I am thinking of everyone in the Philippines who is suffering from this horrible and tragic event. I hope the recovery from this disaster goes as well as possible. Thank you for sharing the detailed information.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      4 years ago from California

      Prayers are with you. Thanks for writing this.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hope and prayers for all who were in the path of this killer storm.

    • travel_man1971 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ireno Alcala 

      4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      @Thelma Alberts: Thank you for gracing this hub.

      Eastern Visayas (Leyte, Samar) and other affected areas (Cebu, Capiz, Iloilo, Mindoro and Palawan) are already under the state of calamity.

      Augmentation forces (doing police works) and medical teams are on the way to help the victims of Yolanda.

      We can always count on with the 'Filipino spirit' of bayanihan.

      With God's help and prayers of all sympathizers around the world (including their aid) we can get through this disaster.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      4 years ago from Germany

      This is a very well written and informative hub. Thank you for sharing this informations. I´m glad you´re alright. I´m here in the Philippines since 30 of Oct. and we had only strong rains for 2 days. We were lucky as the typhoon Yolanda just passed through our town in Agusan del Norte.

      Now I heard there´s another typhoon named Sorayda and it´s in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur where the Tinuy-an Waterfalls is located. At the moment we have only strong rain the whole day and I hope it will not become worse. Thank you again and be careful. God Bless Us All!


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