One cannot help but watch in amazement at the devastating impact that Super Typhoon Haiyan had on the Philippines.
Countless villages were completely destroyed, reduced to rubble. The death toll stands at 4,000 and rising. Areas like Tacloban Leyte, a cluster of villages to the north of Cebu City, were the hardest hit.
Filipinos are accustomed to typhoons. They are vulnerable, but they are not accustomed to one of this magnitude. It was 300 miles wide with wind gusts up to 300 miles per hour and 195 miles per hour at landfall.
The Filipinos’ ability to come together and their survival instinct is to be admired and should be a lesson to us all. How on Earth can a population that is hungry, thirsty and homeless, with dead bodies all around them, remain so calm and patient is beyond me.
In many other countries, there would be nonstop riots. Some are quick to blame climate change, rising sea levels and other factors, but more scientific research is needed before drawing any conclusions. The government, for the most part, is doing a good job. Coordinating relief effort for a disaster of this magnitude is not easy.
My message to the Philippines government: now that you are seeing rapid economic recovery and growth, please invest in the infrastructure, as there will be more typhoons.
There is much poverty and rising population growth, and the world must respond with aid. Kudos to the U.S. government for the rapid relief effort. The Philippines has always been a very close ally of America.
My wife and I spent many long hours at night watching this disaster unfold on television.
Many fundraisers are taking place in Palm Beach County, so please help the people of the Philippines. We can make a difference.
Karl Witter, The Acreage