September 26, 2009, may very well go down in Philippine history as one of its darkest days. Typhoon Ondoy – known internationally as Ketsana – slammed into the Philippine island of Luzon, carrying with it strong winds of up to 100kph and very heavy rains. The Philippine capital of Manila turned into a virtual river, with flash floods sending thousands fleeing their homes in search of higher ground. You can view images here (excuse the profane title). You can also click here to watch videos of the destruction wrought by Ondoy’s fury.
The good news is that nothing serves as a better wake-up call than a tragedy. Several government agencies, non-government organizations, public and private entities, and “ordinary citizens” have jumped into action. I am amazed by how generally united Filipinos are in the face of this massive disaster (and disaster it is; according to several blog posts, this is the worst city flood since 1967). I can’t even go to bed even if I am so tired; I want to help out from here by passing information along. I imagine I’ll just fall asleep at my laptop.
Some say the darkness comes right before the dawn, I believe this is our darkness, and there is nowhere to go but up from here. Tomorrow, the rebuilding starts. We’re going to see God work and I know it’s going to be amazing. The Philippines is going to witness a new dawn, I know it. We’re going to get our act together, and we’re doing to rebuild this nation.
Click here or here for an updated list of emergency numbers to call and organizations to whom you can donate.
Click here for Rescue Info Central, a Google Document that compiles a list of people who are awaiting rescue.
This is the Help Ondoy Victims blog.