The Philippines: Land of Typhoons
Every year, 20 typhoons pay a visit to the Philippines. In their wake, they leave towns and cities bursting at the seams with flood water that residents must wade though in order to get to their jobs and homes.
This is what residents of Quezon City had to deal with again as Typhoon Rammasun hit. The numbers were huge: 12,000 people were displaced, 38 people were killed when Rammasun hit this land of typhoons and at least eight were missing shortly after the storm.
People’s homes, 19,000 in all, were left damaged.
Meanwhile, in the town of Noveleta, people braced against 185 mph wilds. The typhoon cut across Luzon, shutting down the capital and leaving a trail of blackouts and ravaged trees as it passed.
Then it set course for Southern China.
Before the storm had even reached the country, China was already feeling its effects. Heavy landslides and rainfall killed 45 people before the full brunt of the storm could even be felt. Torn-apart power lines plunged the region into darkness, and 21 people went missing. China prepared for the oncoming 140-kilometer-per-hour winds that had yet to come.
For the Philippines, the aftermath of Rammasun serves as a bad memory of the destruction caused last November by Typhoon Haiyan. The November storm killed over 5,000 people and left more than 1,600 missing, surging the ocean into massive, tsunami-like waves that surged onto land.
Unidentified bodies found resting places in mass graves.
But the problems weren’t buried with the Philippines’ dead. More than one million people have been left financially devastated with the destruction of 33 million coconut trees across the country. The trees, which will take eight to 10 years to grow back, served as the livelihood of poor Filipino farmers.
Sixty percent of farmers in the Philippines were already impoverished, and the November blow Haiyan delivered made their situation desperate.
Farmers weren’t the only group affected; with 30,000 boats destroyed in Haiyan’s massive waves, the livelihoods of poor fishermen were also at stake. They now face relocation in regions far from the coast, preventing them from returning to their trade even with the restoration of their fishing vessels.
With Rammasun’s latest rampage, the farmers and fishermen of the Philippines are now in serious need of aid.
– Rachel Davis
Sources: CBC News 1, CBC News 2, Oxfam
Photo: The Australian