By Edwin Fernandez
KIDAPAWANCITY (Nov. 12) –- With an estimated 10,000 people feared dead due to Supertyphoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) that ripped through Central Philippines four days ago coupled with thousands of injured Filipinos,flattened communities, no power, no potable water in at least four provinces, starvation is waiting to happen as food supplies could hardly reached theaffected areas.
The full extent of the devastation was not known until more than 24 hours after Yolanda made landfalls in Central Philippines. Actual casualty figure is still being ascertained but media estimates death toll could reach 10,000 or more.
AUS Marine general, Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy and his men, conducted an aerial survey Monday on board helicopters, was stunned to see what he described as“horrifying.”
Philippine media quoted Kennedy saying, “We saw bodies everywhere, some floating in the water, others in schoolyards.
The whole world was horrified with what television networks have shown. Mountains of debris greeted the people of Samar and Leyte the morning after in areas where the typhoon first made its landfall.
As shown on television, bodies of children and adults were strewn across bothsides of the roads, fallen century old trees, electric poles and almost everything lying in the middle of roads, blocking motorists and survivors. Almost all houses and buildings had their roofs gone.
Many were walking in daze described by reporters as a “zombie walk,” trying to salvage anything in areas where their houses used to stand.
People need food and water, medicine too. Local government units failed to function as government workers were also victims. Looting by desperate Filipinos was reported and seen on national television. Prices of gasoline, with stocks running out, rose 10 times.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino placed the entire country under a state of national calamity to expedite rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts and ordered the release of emergency funds.
Seeing this on television and other news organizations, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in the Philippine Province through Oblate Missionary Foundation, Inc (OMF, Inc), which is the OMI social development arm and the Philippine Oblate Media have quickly organized a fund drive aimed sending assistance to calamity victims.
Dubbed “Operation Tulong Yolanda Victims,” the Oblates have appealed for help from the people of the Central Mindanao region where its media ministry operates.
“With the heart breaking situation of our fellow Filipinos in Central Visayas, I am appealing to all to extend whatever assistance you can provide,” Father Larry de Guia, OMI Philippine Provincial Superior, said over Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation, the OMI’s leading media organization.
“Faith without work is dead,” he said in urging Oblate Media listeners to share something for calamity victims.
“We were spared by calamities and we are thankful not only through prayers but through sacrifices and by extending assistance,” he said.
“Rest assured your assistance will reach the needy in the affected provinces.”
Assistance may be sent through Oblate Radio Stations in (DXMS and DXND Radyo Bida and Happy FM stations) in Cotabato City, Kidapawan City and Koronadal City.
On the day Fr. Larry made his appeal, aid including food and used clothing started to arrived in OMI run Radio Stations in Kidapawan City, Cotabato City and Koronadal City.