Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan struck over the weekend.  The whole world knows that the Philippines was hit the worst by this beast which then moved on towards Vietnam but was downgraded by the time it reached land there and the damage was nothing like the world has seen in the Philippines.

This Typhoon has been labelled the worst in the Philippines history.  It killed over 10,000 people although with a storm as ferocious as this, an exact number can never be reached.  There are still whole towns that have been destroyed and not yet even reached by rescuers.  Pictures have been beamed around the world of the devastation and now desperation.

typhoon typhoon 2 typhoon 1

The mood in Hong Kong this week has been different.  For about 4 days it has been unusually grey, windy and rainy at a time of year that is normally gloriously sunny and pleasant.  We know that we have been caught up at the very edge of this storm so we feel part of it.  The Philippines is only a 2 hour flight away.  Scarily close.

There is a huge population of Filipinos living in Hong Kong.  The majority are domestic helpers, drivers, or if they are lucky, they work in a restaurant or beauty salon or similar places.  It’s not the greatest life for them but they are always happy, smiling, laughing and have great fun on Sundays crowding out certain parts of the city with their dance routines that they practice for who knows what reason other than to just have fun.

This week it’s been different though.  Everyone knows at least someone who has been affected by the Typhoon.  Everywhere I go I see scores of Filipino’s and I wonder if their family is ok or if they are lucky enough to be part of the least affected areas.  The emotional effects are very close to home although thankfully the family of our helper and their home are all ok.  However, we have friends whose helper’s parents lost their home.  I overheard a conversation at Nursery this morning of someone saying how their helper’s family also lost their home.  The helper is unable to return home for her planned visit at Christmas as there is nowhere for her to go.  The stories are countless.  At Nursery I was crammed in a lift with about 5 Filipino helpers and I couldn’t help but look at them and wonder if their family has a story and what the story is but I can’t ask everyone.  I’m not sure I want the answers because what can I say?  That I’ve sent a few tins of baked beans?

The world has moved fast to come to their aid.  Schools in Hong Kong are collecting donations and essential items such as tinned food and towels to be sent there.  Joshua will be taking our contribution to school tomorrow proud that we can do a little bit to help but they need so much more.



5 thoughts on “Typhoon Haiyan

  1. This post is so moving and beautifully written. I am relieved that Judy’s family are OK.


  2. I think i was the first person onto the dec.org.uk this morning donating… We’re a bit far away to send beans though. Well done josh!

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