As a new deadly super-typhoon #LawinPH is about to enter PAR (Phlippine Area of Responsibility) I would like to share my memories of the previous category 5 typhoon that demolished half of the country 3 years ago – Yolanda (Haiyan).
It was my third year in the Philippines and I’ve experienced quite a number of typhoons already. Mostly it was just pouring rains, a bit of wind and waves – end of story. Yolanda was different. I knew it when I heard carpenters covering the windows of the houses with wooden planks, when I was asked to translate a information sheet about shelters, when I saw people in the supermarket storing goods, when I saw my boyfriend who has survived strongest typhoons ever grow pale while listening to the news. It was different. I got scared. We got scared. We braced for impact.
The amount of adrenaline inside my body did not let me rest. I stored canned goods, water and wine, I covered the windows, I packed our documents, bank cards and a first-aid kit in a plastic container. I even talked to God though I’m hardly a believer. We were supposed to be hit by the storm at its worst – 315 km/hour – and the eye was to pass right above our tiny island.
Last moment it shifted. We experienced tough winds and pouring rains and we had no electricity for around 10 days, but there were no casualties on our island. Before I did not really understand what the expression “the calm before the storm” means. Now I do. Suddenly there is not a single movement anymore. Not a leaf is moving. It seems so calm and peaceful. And then it hits.
The next day we found out the country had major losses. Over 10 000 people died because of this natural calamity. We got lucky that time but you can never know. Thanks to my amazing friends and family I got around USD 1,500 on my card that we encashed and spent on relief goods for the destroyed areas. Thousands of people all over the world were sending their help to people who lost everything.
Being a non-believer, I still keep on praying that this upcoming Lawin guy spares this country from more and more casualties. They do not deserve it, please.