Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Typhoon Season

This time of year is difficult for those of us who sponsor children in the Philippines. August is statistically their rainiest month, and the islands are often pounded by tropical storms and typhoons. While these forces of Mother Nature can produce damaging winds, the real danger for our children is the flooding that occurs. Their homes, constructed from scrap materials, are no protection from rising waters or gales.

Evacuation for families living in poverty can prove nearly impossible, especially when the entire city is under water. They usually lack any mode of transportation beyond a bicycle, and few have the resources or contacts to get out of the storm's path.

According to this report on, on Sunday alone the total rainfall was over 20 inches. That's an entire month's worth of rain ... in a single day. The article adds that the deforestation of the mountains and the clogged waterways where the nation's sprawling squatter communities are located contribute to the drastic flooding.

Children International posted a statement yesterday:

Staff in Manila, Philippines, have sent us an emergency report from the field. Children and families from two communities we serve have been evacuated or have left their homes; water is over five feet deep in some areas.
The affected families are from two areas in Metro Manila.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will update you as we get information. If your sponsored child has been seriously affected by Tropical Storm Maring (Trami), you will be notified as soon as possible.
Please note: The heavy rains have not affected the Bicol area (Tabaco and Legazpi).

I have four girls in the metro Manila area--Anna Marie, Chris, Dianne and Jasmin. I'm holding my breath, waiting for the letter in the mail to tell me that they are all okay. I know the field agencies are doing everything they can to assess and react to the situation, but since the centers are also in the affected areas, their capabilities must be hindered by the flooding.

It's scary. All I can do is wait ... and hope ... and pray.