Typhoon’s effects hit close to home

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The typhoon may have been in the Philippines, but it has hit close to home for a few.

The tropical storm Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines on Nov. 9. NBC news reported 5,200 people are dead, and despite the odds, local family members are keeping their heads high and hoping for the best.

“I feel upset and sad because I didn’t expect it to be so big, and to hurt so many people,” freshman Ellen Rogan said.

Rogan’s extended family lives in the Philippines in the province of Luzon. Rogan also mentioned they were lucky they weren’t hit by the typhoon but are still feeling its effects.

Freshman Josh Miranda is also experiencing the impact of the natural disaster. His family was almost hit by the typhoon, but escaped it in time.

“My family had to move out to a different shelter and leave behind their house,” Miranda said.

The storm surged with winds that were over 195 miles an hour, destroying everything in its path. Tsunami-like storm surges close to 10 feet high also swept into coastal towns and wiped out many homes.

“My parents tried to show us a video of the typhoon, but it was too depressing to look at,” freshman Jeremiah Mejia said.

Mejia is another spectator of the tragedy with family living in the Philippines. Not able to contact any of his relatives, any chance of updates of the family are slim.

The exact death toll from some locations in the central Philippines is still unknown. Many are still missing. Communications have been knocked out in some places as well by the storm.

As many as 600,000 people were affected by the storm, and many remain hungry, thirsty and sick.

Relatives and donors have tried to give money for the cause. Rogan and sophomore Michelle Fromm have also sent money as well.

The U.S. has promised $20 million in aid for victims of the typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and has sent an aircraft carrier for the relief effort. Britain is also sending a warship and has pledged $16 million. The Vatican is giving $4 million, Japan $10 million, and New Zealand $1.7 million, according to an article by Hannah Beech from Time Magazine.

Stephen Colbert wanted to beat out China’s pledge by getting his viewers to give more than China did. China pledged $100,000 dollars for relief; Colbert’s viewers gave $300,000 dollars to donate to the people of the Philippines.

“They have no food or water and the government isn’t doing anything for them. There should be more done for the people there,” Fromm said.

The Philippine government, along with other international and national groups, faces a difficult task to getting aid to those who need it most, suffering from little time and lots of damage. Hopes that the heartache caused by this damaging storm are soon over, families near and far are on an outlook for the positive.

Paige Wallingford
Guest Reporter