Typhoon Haiyan victims in desperate need of food, supplies

Lyndsie Yamrus, Assistant Opinion Editor

The vast majority of us do not have any idea what it’s like to have to beg for food and clean water, and we certainly don’t know how it feels to lose our entire families.

If you thought Hurricane Katrina or Sandy was bad, Typhoon Haiyan was on a whole different level.

Nothing but horror stories have come out of the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan — one of the most powerful and destructive storms in recorded history.

As accustomed to earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters as they were, Filipino residents were not at all prepared for this calamity. When word caught on about the expected typhoon, a World War II-like city of chaos arose as people fled in fear, trying to catch a plane, any plane, out.

Filipino residents described the typhoon as “worse than hell.” There were stories of children being ripped out of their parents arms by the ripping winds. Loved ones floated by, having been drowned in the foul waters, as their families struggled to survive.

Many accounted the trauma experienced during the storm as desperate sobs and cries for help echoed throughout the town.

Bodies now line the ravaged streets, especially in Tacloban, one of the areas hit hardest by the typhoon.

Affected towns have become lawless as individuals loot and pillage homes and business, or what’s left of them, in hopes of acquiring even a little bit of food. Eight died in a wall collapse as Haiyan survivors stormed a government-controlled rice warehouse.

Medicinal supplies are limited — most were destroyed in the typhoon, and even the undamaged supplies are now running out.

Parts of the country are in complete shambles to say the least, and residents now suffer in grief, despair, sickness and hunger that is extremely difficult for us to even imagine.

And that’s just it. While it’s difficult to imagine what others across the globe are experiencing, it’s entirely too easy to read the news, say “How devastating …” and continue about your day as you normally would.

The Philippines needs aid, badly. Their government has failed to appropriately prepare and coordinate in aid operation, and many in charge were victims themselves.

I urge you to find a way to become involved, even just by donating $10. There are plenty of organizations: World Food Programme, Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Salvation Army, Save the Children and the International Medical Corps. All accept donations, and there are many more to choose from.

Remember, you might be a “broke” college student, but you have way, way more than these people will ever have, especially now.