Last week on Wednesday we started hearing that the typhoon headed towards the Philippines may affect us here in the middle of the Island of Luzon. Many of us were unfazed as we have numerous typhoons a year and it usually just means a cooler day with some rain. By Wednesday evening reports started coming in that the typhoon was picking up speed and Kalinga should expect a Signal number 5 (more than 200km/hour winds). I admit that I started to get a bit nervous.
By 11pm on Wednesday night the winds started ripping through the Province of Kalinga. For the next four hours we were bombarded with wind and rain with whole trees being uprooted and roof tops being torn off houses.
Our clinic was flooded on every floor by the rain coming in through every nook and cranny while the office roof was shredded by the winds.
At our home it was only our garden and trees that were destroyed with our house and car thankfully being spared. Oh and the kids are loving playing amongst all the felled coconut trees next door.
Driving through town the next day however, Tabuk looked like a different place. So many of the squatter homes at the side of the road were completely demolished. Almost every power line was down. Most of the beautiful tree lined roads were now covered with branches, trees trunks and electrical wires. In our beloved village of Pakak many homes were destroyed and the roof of the church was blown off.
Tabuk is in the middle of the clean up now. Burning of branches, leaves and garbage is continuous (*cough cough) and the power company is working overtime to get electricity restored. We have heard though that it may take up to two months before we get the electricity back!
Amazingly enough there were very few casualties and for that we are thankful. So we continue to press on with clean up and caring for the women that still need to have their babies.
Oh, another crazy thing, we were bombarded with labors for the week before the typhoon with all six beds full on two occasions. We just finished discharging all our postpartum mothers on Wednesday afternoon … just before the typhoon. Then, two days after the typhoon we started getting busy again! Could it be that a baby knows when its safe to come out?
(If anyone would like to donate money towards families who have lost their homes or would like to help the church in Pakak to repair their roof, you can click on the donate tab of this website. Be sure to designate the funds for typhoon relief and I will make sure it gets to some of those who need it.)