Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

Nature's Fury Unleashed

Deadly Typhoon Hits the Philippines; Earthquake Strikes Indonesia; Tsunami Devastates Samoa

OCTOBER 1, 2009 - The past week has seen the Asia-Pacific region reeling from a group of catastrophic events that has left scores dead and millions homeless in the Philippines, Indonesia, and the Samoan Islands.

In the Philippines Saturday, September 26, 2009, Tropical Storm Ketsana (known locally as Ondoy) dumped an entire month's worth of rainfall on the island of Luzon in the span of six hours, triggering deadly flash floods. The storm killed at least 277 people and displaced hundreds of thousands more, according to BBC News. The storm, which strengthened into a typhoon, also hit Vietnam, killing at least 92.

Late Wednesday, an 8.3-magnitude quake struck near the coasts of the Samoan Islands. Soon after, four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet (4 to 5 meters) high battered Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga, killing at least 150 people on all three islands. According to the he Associated Press, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said it issued an alert, but the waves came so quickly that residents only had about 10 minutes to respond. US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa and pledged a "swift and aggressive" government response.

Early Thursday, an earthquake struck northwest of Padang, Western Sumatra, Indonesia. The quake was recorded at a magnitude of 7.6 and caused buildings to collapse and set off landslides, according to the BBC. A second earthquake struck close to Padang fewer than nine hours later.  United Nations officials said the death toll from the two earthquakes has now surpassed 1,100.

Reported by Stephanie Valera, Asia Society Online


The following aid agencies are accepting contributions to help those affected by the typhoons and flooding in the Philippines, earthquakes in Indonesia and the tsunami in Samoa:

American Red Cross
World Vision

Asia Society believes the organizations listed above have experience in disaster relief and an existing presence in the countries affected, and are therefore likely to be able to assist during this crisis. The list is by no means complete and the inclusion of an organization is neither an endorsement nor a guarantee that donations will be utilized effectively. Donors are urged to use their best judgment when deciding to contribute.

As working on emergency relief in typhoon-hit Philippines, Asia America Initiative, based in US and Manila, is also helping acquire supplies and coordinate delivery systems, which include Muslim and Christian volunteer organizations, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and local government agencies. See their story from the website, and they are looking for more resource/donation to expand their strength to saving people.
As distraught relatives picked through the rubble of homes and tourist resorts destroyed by Tuesday's 8.0-magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami, aid workers were left breathless at the catastrophe. "The devastation was astronomical, worse than anything I have ever seen," said Peter Bendinelli, head of the non-profit group Caritas Samoa. The death toll is expected to rise dramatically after the Samoan islands' worst quake in nearly a century unleashed walls of water that pounded the coast, echoing Asia's deadly December 2004 tsunami.
Direct Relief has also offered emergency medical assistance to partners in Indonesia. You can donate online to support their emergency response by clicking here. Thanks.
New Yorkers can also donate towels, bed sheets, blankets and clothes through the following drop-off center:
Typhoon Ondoy New York Disaster Relief Drop Off Center at Pandayan Center
406 West 40th Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
New York, NY 10018 (or call 212.564.6057).
Just wanted to let Asia Society website readers know that the Philippine Red Cross, a great organization, is now accepting overseas donations via Paypal. Thank you!

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