Got time to turn your eyes outward, please?
This is a short post, to ask people to turn their attention to the Philippines, where what has been described by some as an onland tsunami hit on December 17, when Typhoon Washi (local name for the disaster is Sendong) unleashed flash floods that brought down rivers of mud and logs and took out villages, towns and parts of cities in the southern islands of the country, especially Mindanao.
That it happened so close to the holidays hampered peoples attentions and donor nations’ reactions. But as well, until people began to react and determine that people were and are missing, it wasn’t clear how many people were gone. It still isn’t, in some ways. Here are some sources of information about the relief efforts underway:
The ICRC and Philippines Red Cross
OCHA (The UN Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
If you know people with relatives there, and they cannot contact them, if the relatives are American, they could contact the State Department, if they are not, they could contact their local Red Cross. It’s important, since people don’t know that people are missing sometimes unless people try to find them. One of the sources I read several days ago said that the number of missing jumped from a few dozen to nearly a thousand when people started to try to contact people, because otherwise nobody knows who hasn’t been heard from.
Read any one of the resources I’ve linked, this is a bigger disaster than the amount of print it’s gotten. Almost half a million people are displaced, and they’ve just raised the death toll again to 1,249 (that’s an increase of 200 since yesterday). There are at least a thousand still missing, and tens of thousands in shelters and headed for temporary tents.
You would like to be good on the homeless? Here’s an opportunity.