Disaster Strikes in the Philippines

Disaster struck in the Philippines on Saturday as Typhoon Haiyan took the lives of an exponential amount of people, and the death toll is still climbing.

An initial estimate by the Red Cross stated that there was a possibility that there were up to 10,000 casualties.  However, the official count sits at 3,621, which has risen by over 1,000 in the past few days.  On top of the tragic loss of life,  over 12,000 are missing.

The typhoon struck by surprise on Saturday, devastating the entire nation.  The typhoon season was supposedly coming to an end, and one of this magnitude was anything but expected by the residents of the Philippines.

The trouble does not end with coping with the loss of 2,000-some individuals.  Overall, 11 million people have been affected in one way or another by the storm and have been displaced from their homes.  There is a serious shortage of food and supplies, and caring for the survivors has not been easy.

The storm was categorized as a “Super Typhoon” and covered over 1,000 miles and about 2/3 of the country when it hit on Saturday.  It was officially a category 5 storm and saw winds that reached and maintained speeds of 195 mph.  The storm is potentially one of the worst in history, if not the worst ever.

Seneca Valley sophomore, Nate Kouns, has family in the Philippines and his mother was born and raised in the country.  “It makes me feel like a part of my heritage has been washed away because of the typhoon,” shares Kouns.  ” It makes me feel bad that kids my age and younger have nothing now.  For two years, my family and I have donated food and clothes to my mom’s family and friends every month.”

The economy in the Philippines ranks 40th in the world and has been moving from an agricultural economy to a more industrialized economy in recent years.  Luckily for the nation, the typhoon missed the economical center of the country in the city of Manila.  The country has suffered traumatic loss in life, but its status as one of the best economies in Asia may remain.”Things have been looking up for the Philippines,” said Rachel Van Elkan, who is the mission chief for the Philippines for the International Monetary Fund. “In our assessment they continue to do so.”

Recently, the United States deployed 1,000 more troops to the Philippines to help in the relief effort. Thousands of more troops were sent earlier in the week, along with supplies.

Things in the Philippines do not look good, and it is a matter of whether they will get better or worse in the coming days, as the death toll continues to rise and more carnage continues to be uncovered.