A casualties were recorded. People started asking. Why

A
total devastation – accurate words to describe the chaos brought by the recent
Super Typhoon Yolanda, leaving not just loss of thousands of lives and
agricultural and infrastructural damages, but a lot of tears, sorrow, and
misery among our fellowmen. Yolanda was indeed one of the strongest typhoons
ever recorded. As the rehabilitation and recovery of the affected areas
continued, a confusion started to develop inside the mind of every Filipino.
Philippines was considered as one of the most disaster-prone countries in the
world, thus the government officials were expected to be prepared enough for
the coming of the said typhoon. Yet, enormous number of casualties were recorded.
People started asking. Why did Super Typhoon Yolanda left so many fatalities? Was
the government and the countrymen not prepared?

            On the 7th of November
2013, Super Typhoon Yolanda, with an international name of Haiyan, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). In the
morning, storm signal No. 3 was raised in eastern Visayas and Mindanao. As the
super typhoon intensified, the storm warning was upgraded to signal No. 4 in
the evening. This brought tremendously powerful winds and heavy rains. With a
maximum sustained speed of 315 kph, the wind’s strength was associated with a
Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, causing major
cities of the affected areas to be out of reach due to electric and signal
disruptions. The heavy to intense rainfall of 10-30 millimeters within the
typhoon’s 600 kilometer diameter had caused huge amount of floods and
landslides across several areas, forcing thousands of families to escape their
homes and stay on the assigned evacuation sites.

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            In addition to the fierce winds and
intense rains, storm surges were mainly responsible for the massive damages
brought by the Super Typhoon Yolanda. These storm surges were said to be
predicted two days in advance before it hit the affected areas. The warning was
broadcasted over media the night before Yolanda made landfall. Unfortunately,
despite the advance warnings, the information were not interpreted into proper
action by the people in the affected coastal villages. Ma. Cecilia Monteverde,
assistant weather services chief of PAGASA, admitted that they weren’t able to
explain storm surge enough, causing the people to have lack of knowledge about
its possible effects. As a result, there were families who refused to proceed
in evacuation centers and decided to stay at their homes inspite of the
impending danger. Yet, even though the communication about storm surge could
have been made better, it was still not enough to escape the Yolanda disaster,
for even the sturdy evacuation sites – churches, schools, and public buildings,
could not withstand the strength of these storm surges. The massive walls of
waves swept cities, towns, and villages, killing thousands, including those who
gathered in government establishments.

            According to the National Disaster
Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Super Typhoon Yolanda resulted
to a total cost of damage worth P95.48 billion. A total of 161,973 families were
affected, with 6,300 individuals reported dead; 28,688 injured; and 1,062
missing. The different sectors of the society also experienced the aftermath of
the Super Typhoon. The infrastructure sector suffered damages to transport
including national and provincial roads and bridges, sea and air ports, as well
as utilities like water supply and drainage systems. School buildings, health
facilities, and government establishments also acquired considerable amount of
damages and losses. Since it was the harvest season when the disaster occurred,
the agriculture sector also faced heavy damages especially to crops like rice,
corn, and coconut trees. The coastal areas were not spared. In fact, ninety to
ninety five percent of the coastal resources in the affected islands were
totally destroyed. The economic toll in the most affected areas were also
estimated to be terrible.