They expected the death toll to reach that number. The Red Cross has ordered that many body bags. It's the same number of the population of the city of Emeryville, where I work. The Philippines have numerous typhoons a year and they predicted this to be worse than the US' Katrina. Hopefully that number is inaccurate. It is currently at 2, 275 according to Katie Couric, as of November 13, 2013 at 6 AM.
Update 11/21/13 at 1:15 PM - National: 3,976 confirmed deaths, 1,598 missing and 18,175 injured, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
The video and images are heart breaking. People are left without food, water and shelter. Some even stormed a rice plant in desperation, and some just want to leave the country as nothing is left of their home now. Look around you. Imagine your home left unrecognizable. Where would you go? What would you do? This is a reminder to everyone to prepare for the unexpected.
Manny Pacquiao, a professional Filipino boxer and Congressman, dedicates his next fight against Brandon Rios to the typhoon victims. The event will take place on Sunday, November 24th in China, but aired live in the US via PPV on Saturday, November 23rd. He has decided not to visit the area but concentrate on the upcoming fight.
''I really want to visit the area and personally do what I can to help our countrymen who have suffered so much in this terrible tragedy. But I'm in deep training for a crucial fight so I regret I cannot go.''
''I will send help to those who need it the most,'' he added, ''and I enjoin all of you to pray for our country and people in these trying times.''
I am unaware whether or not any of my family members were directly affected. I am planning on going to the Philippines early next year with family and hope they can bounce back. Though it's a small donation, I have donated to the World Food Program USA. There are so many organizations to help make a difference. Please consider visiting any of the below sites and make a tax-deductible contribution.
Architecture for Humanity
Doctors Without Borders
Save the Children
My nephew works at this Walgreens in Pinole, Ca. Starting tomorrow, November 14, they will be accepting non-perishable food items.