I woke up on Saturday to the news that my hometown, Manila, was submerged in the worst flooding the city has seen in four decades. Thankfully, my relatives in Manila are safe, and our home there was spared from the flood. But it was staggering to see how it could've easily not been so. Our family's ancestral home, the home I grew up in, was submerged in flood waters all the way to the roof. On Facebook, I watched friends' status updates with horror as they listed names of people who were trapped on their rooftops and on the higher floors of homes for days with dwindling food and water supplies. Just to give some perspective on how bad these floods were, Hurricane Katrina dumped over an inch of rainfall in Louisiana for 3 hours and another 0.5 inches per hour over the next 5 hours on August 29, 2005. Tropical Storm Ketsana dumped an average of 2.24 inches per hour for six hours over the Metropolis.
One way to help from outside the Philippines is to make a donation to Red Cross through this website. I'm trying to find a more direct way to help. I've heard that Filipinos are mobilizing in New York to get relief goods together to send back to the Philippines, so I'll try to help through that group. I'm appealing to readers to please do what you can to help as well.
See the following articles to read up on the tragedy that has befallen Manila: