Halloween last year, my friends and I went to Malapascua to do some diving. We went with Evolution Diving – a well-respected dive shop and technical diving facility that gained fame during the search and recovery operations for the plane of DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo. All in all, it was a great experience. The people were warm, the diving was excellent and the sharks were present in almost every dive!
Malapascua is a small island off the northern coast of Cebu. The island is predominantly flat and sandy. It’s 2.5 kilometers at its widest point and can be easily navigated on foot. It’s an idyllic paradise island that can be both a treat for divers and sun-worshipping beach-goers alike.Unfortunately, Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) rammed through the Visayas group of islands over the weekend and left a trail of death and destruction. Typhoon is among the strongest weather disturbances ever to affect the Philippines in recorded history and the eye wall waltzed right into Malapascua. Storm surges were reported to be in the order of 10 meters in places like Tacloban and it’s not unlikely that the same happened in the small outlying islands in the Visayas. With a flat topography and having the sea at all sides, Malapascua’s residents would’ve had a challenging ordeal during a storm surge – there would have been literally nowhere to go!
This photo was shared on Evolution’s page. This image was taken by Edmund Porter and it shows the extent of devastation. Click the image to see more images of Malapascua. Most of the beachfront establishments were either destroyed or severely damaged. There are no reports yet regarding casualties but it is clear that the infrastructure on the island was battered by the storm. Similarly depressing photos are also coming out of nearby Bantayan Island.
HOW TO HELP
You may help through any of these channels. The Philippine Red Cross has already mobilized its teams nationwide.
To donate to the Red Cross, simply get your phone and text RED <AMOUNT> to 2899 (Globe) and 4143 (Smart). Your donation will be automatically debited from your prepaid load or added to your monthly bill if you’re on a postpaid plan.
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