As of November 2020, The Philippines suffered from Typhoon Vamco’s wrath killing just under 70 Filipino inhabitants, earning the name of the worst natural disaster the country experienced this year. The Philippines has been overcome with mass floods that have left thousands of people without homes, food, and money. This aquatic hell has forced thousands to evacuate to shelters and left the Philippines 25,000 scarce in homes and 9.7 million dollars in debt to infrastructural damage.
For Filipinos, it is quite arduous to receive any type of aid because the 93 MPH winds and heavy rains make it hard for organizations and volunteers to access them. On top of that, these heavy rains triggered landfalls in key areas, namely, it primarily hit Luzon Island, the most populous island of the Philippines which also happens to contain the capital, Manila. Other concerning problems, such as looting and lack of water, have placed Filipinos in a helpless position to get back on their feet. They are at one of their most vulnerable moments and almost stagnant in progress.
Mentionable Cyclones of 2020: The Philippines
- Ulysses ( Vamco)
COVID-19 doesn’t make it any easier
Amid Typhoon Vamco, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 8,392 Filipinos and has infected more than 432,000 of them as well. Humid conditions make it easier for viruses and bacteria to latch onto our skin, increasing our likelihood of disease. Mind you, neighborhoods were barraged with vast amounts of dirty water, leaving mud and debris everywhere. Sanitation problems arise as volunteers, or those who at least can reach them, and other locals help each other to safety.
Relief for the Filipinos
Help is paramount for the Philippines and humanitarian organizations, such as UNICEF and Red Cross, have found another avenue to reach those in need. Red Cross has deployed their emergency response teams to the densely populated areas, accompanying them with first-aid and hygiene kits. These teams evacuate those who were affected to centers with food and water through the courtesy of the volunteers who drive them in Red Cross utility vehicles.
UNICEF provided Filipinos with water, food, hygiene products, and tents for those who have lost their homes. They also set up educational stations for students whose schools have been swept away with debris. UNICEF has teams that stay with these children who cannot find their loved ones. Until they are found or are placed in a safer environment, these teams are watching them, giving them food and safe-drinking water in the meantime.
Their current president, Rodrigo Duterte, has implemented and declared a state of calamity’, in which he blames climate change for the series of typhoons the Philippines got this year. This means that the nation, as a whole, needs to intervene and aid those in Luzon Island in any way they can. This increases the momentum to achieve maximum aid from national and international organizations.
Gen Z to the Rescue
Since the Philippines is on the other side of the world, Gen Z’s offer for help is limited. However, technology is relatively convenient and it is this generation that really knows how to use it. Spread awareness to those who can donate, of those who are unaware of the hardships Filipinos faced through natural disasters. Aside from their series of typhoons, the Philippines is a third-world country, meaning that they are objectively poorer than the rest of the nations. When I visited my home country, there was not one moment where I saw houses with broken roofs or battered facades; it was just a chain of poverty along the highway.
Since UNICEF and the Red Cross seemingly have things under control in the meantime, our job, for now, is to help with their COVID-19 crisis. Donating PE equipment, such as masks and gloves, to the Center For Global Development is highly encouraged. They have dedicated tremendous amounts of research and resources to those countries in need of help.
Even though Vamco has gone westward to deploy its disaster to Vietnam instead, it still left its mark on those locally affected and those with families there overseas.
Xavier is a 15-year-old who is a rising Sophomore at High Tech High School. He majors in Biomedical Science, but among being immersed with science, he also enjoys writing. Xavier is seen as the kid who always focuses on studying for school and hopes to become a doctor and go to med school. Aside from being an avid learner, Xavier also has fun side that includes playing volleyball, swimming, Overwatch, traveling the world, or just visiting the beaches. He wants to apply his personality and hobbies into the articles he will write for Zenerations to be able to allow others to not only get a better understanding of the world but to also get to know him and learn his opinions. From his future experiences with Zenerations, Xavier aims to talk about subjects ranging from politics to entertainment always understanding both sides of the argument.