DEVASTATION IN TACLOBAN

I have previously noted that my Wife, Joan, is from the Philippines. In fact, she was flying into Manila on Friday, the same day that Typhoon Haiyan clobbered Tacloban, in the Central Philippines. A Nephew had Emailed her last Thursday that the storm was heading south of Manila, her initial destination. Still, we feel the heartache that all Filipinos feel–both those at Home and Abroad.

As I am starting work on this Blog Post, I have been watching an Anderson Cooper Report, on CNN, which provides an hour-long description of the devastation and relief efforts. If you have seen any of the newspaper, TV or Internet coverage, you have seen complete devastation–with hardly a building standing, operating utilities or any Infrastructure whatsoever.

I have often suggested that you cannot regard Developing Countries and feel that anything is similar to what we have in the U. S. When we have wildfires in the West, hurricanes in New Orleans or Miami, terrorist attacks in New York, emergency rescue forces, utility trucks, firefighters and police travel from as far as a thousand miles away to help. That’s in addition to FEMA and Military transportation.

I just saw something on the Internet that said that the “economic impact might be slight”. When you see the pictures, you might ask “how can that be?” That’s because Tacloban is an impoverished rural area–and without much economic activity to begin with. If it had been Metro Manila, that would be another situation. I would make the analogy to Haiti, perhaps the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, which always seems to be hit really hard when hurricanes come through. The same goes for Tacloban.

The Philippines is an archipelago, a group of many islands. This means that transporting building materials, food and water, medical supplies, etc. is quite difficult. Water and debris make transporting supplies difficult in getting them to where they are needed. The
U. S. Military and AID are working in conjunction with the Philippine Authorities. Remember that the Philippines was a U. S. Territory for fifty years, following the Spanish-American War, and has always been an important ally in Asia. But, more International Aid is surely needed.

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