Remember what happened to Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina hit several years ago? The hurricane dumped more than an inch of rainfall for three hours, and then it dumped 0.5 inches of rain for the next 5 hours or so. We all know what happened.
Now think of a tropical storm dumping an average of 2.24 inches of rain per hour for six hours straight. Think of a metropolis crammed with millions and millions of people – many of them living near swollen rivers in makeshift shanties. You can just imagine the disaster!
This is exactly what happened to Metro Manila and outlying areas on Saturday, September 26. The center of the nation was left helpless under the wrath of nature. Even the business district was flooded, with cars being swept away by the flood waters.
Ordinary people were left stranded in the middle of the highways. Others were stuck on the roofs of their houses. The less fortunate ones were carried away by the raging waters.
One thing is clear: these people need help.
You will be amazed at how quickly the Filipino people are banding together to offer their help. Numerous institutions have opened their arms as hosts to those who have been displaced. Churches, schools, and community centers have risen to the occasion. Others have volunteered to pack relief goods. People have also been using technology non-stop to do their part – spreading information, asking for rescue, even sending donations to the Philippine Red Cross through their mobile phones. Nothing is too small, and nothing too big – the Filipino nation is showing their “bayanihan” spirit and is proud of it.
For those who want to donate or help in whatever way you can, here’s the relevant information.
• Red Cross donation via SMS: text RED
• Relief goods can be sent to Caritas Manila Office at Jesus St., Pandaca Manila near Nagtahan Bridge (tel.no. 5639298/5639308). Relief goods can also be brought Radio Veritas at Veritas Tower West Ave. Corner EDSA (tel no. 9257931-40).
• TeamManila stores in Trinoma, Mall of Asia, Jupiter Bel-Air and Rockwell shall be accepting relief goods (Canned Goods, Ready-to-drink Milk, Bottled Water and Clothes) for distribution by Veritas to displaced countrymen due to Typhoon Ondoy.
• Generous souls in the US who wish to help in the rescue and relief operations, you may donate through the American Red Cross. Call 1-800-435-7669.