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Typhoon Haiyan

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms ever recorded, struck the Philippines in November 2013 with winds of up to 190 mph (305 kph). At least 10,000 people died in one Philippine province alone.

CommentInsight & Opinion

In face of disaster, let Hong Kong's kindness prevail

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 4:23am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 November, 2013, 4:23am

The Philippines, no stranger to the awesome power of nature to wreak death and devastation, has suffered its worst recorded natural disaster. So extensive is the destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, so catastrophic the loss of life, that the full extent may not be known for days as rescue and relief teams battle to restore full communications with flattened communities in the stricken centre of the Philippine archipelago.

Fears that as many as 10,000 people died in one province alone leave little room for hope that the news will get any better in coming days, barring miracles.

Of course, miracles of survival, or the triumph of the human spirit over unimaginable adversity, will come to light. But it is the human spirit of compassion that an impoverished nation stands most in need of now.

Fortunately, as has been demonstrated time and time again in the wake of major disasters in the region, it is in people's nature that in times of crisis, differences are set aside to lend a hand. The most notable recent examples were Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in 2011, the Sichuan earthquake in 2008 and the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami in 2004. In the first two, regional animosities with their roots in the Japanese occupation of China gave way to generous aid and support to one another.

In each of these catastrophes, and in countless other examples of suffering and need, Hong Kong lived up to its well-deserved reputation for charitable and compassionate giving. Indeed, we gave more per person to victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami than any donor nation.

It is time for Hong Kong to stand up and be counted again in someone else's hour of need. Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying has extended the city's condolences, hopefully a positive signal to non-government organisations who may seek support from the government's disaster relief fund for humanitarian work in the Philippines.

Despite the tension between Hong Kong and Manila over the resolution of grievances arising from the Manila bus hostage shootings, in which eight Hongkongers died, the kindness and compassion of Hong Kong people will prevail.

Meanwhile, the government should not wait to be asked to relax its one-month ultimatum to Manila for compensation and an apology for the death and injury three years ago.

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Hum-Balang
I donated on 11 Nov and asked my pals to do likewise the Chinese government ought to give more support too to its neighbour, in any relief if not in aid. I think the PH should spend some aid fund on the future warning of hurricanes as well as some typhoon shelters [doubling as stadiums] and proper tidal breaks in the typhoon-prone area.
clc2
If HK really wanted to help the Philippines, it would raise the minimum wage of all the maids who work in the municipality.
allan94
Dont donate money. it will end up in some politicians pocket, donate used stuff like clothing etc. This country is so sad.....sick, poor, diseased, skill-less, and then god tries to destroy it 10 times a year. The people live like cockroaches....and like cockroaches, despite repeated efforts by God and their politicians, they cant be exterminated. Why do u still pray to your Pope? dont u know god left the PI a long time ago?
Your religion condemns contraception but condones child prostitution. You have no money for food but u can afford guns. You were the bastion of excellence in the 50s and 60s. Today , you are the **** of asia. Go! Pack up and leave......The PI is not worth staying for.
estef122270@yahoo.com
Hey allan94 why don't you come to the Philippines and see how much more intelligent and honorable cockroaches are, compared to you. You are the worst parasite on earth.
davemap2000@yahoo.com
Hongkong should be thankful to the Philippine for acting as natural barrier for all those pacific typhoons. Hong KOng enjoy their life they have now because of the Philippines. Hong Kong also should be thankful as more filipino visit the BORING Disneyland but that will end soon and the closure of the BORING DIsneyland with no more visitors coming
alpot_scmp
Kindness? People here are petty, selfish and materialistic. If the same disaster happens here I bet most will just leave and go to their safe haven like Canada, Australia, UK. Oh wait, they did that back when HK was handed over to China.
giggsy72
Absolutely correct. Kindness in Hong Kong? Bunch of selfish, self centered, kiasu driven xenophobes. You only have to look at the way the "kind people of Hong Kong" treated the Philippines football team in June of this year. What can you expect though, when you look at the calibre of the "leaders" in this city? Largest recorded storm to make landfall, thousands dead, millions displaced/homeless - and the ExCo forge ahead with their petty grandstanding on the Manila Bus issue, declaring a one month deadline for a response. With the CE saying yesterday, that the Philippines had not asked for an extension to the deadline and sanctions would be imposed if demands not met. I wonder maybe if the Philippines are currrently busy with more pressing issues???? Hong Kong - International Laughing Stock!
mercedes2233
Moral of the story, don't procrastinate. If the Philippines Govt had settled this matter THREE YEARS AGO, it can concentrate on its current problems. We didn't like this delay any better either.
dtp_b4@yahoo.com
Hey Muhammad!! Read the news carefully! Philippines has never asked for help from China and Chinese! You will die first before the Filipinos do! You are a useless ignorant who don't deserve to live in this planet! I won't be surprise if one day you will be caught by planning or conducting a terrorist attack! Coz that's what you are known for...you disgusting and stinky beardy animal! You even have the guts to use God's karma for those unfortunate tourists! Yes they might be in heaven now and you will never join them coz you will definitely go way below! Definitely, the main reason why you have this satanic attitude is because you have been dumped by a nice Filipino woman or you are having a hard time getting one! Don't be surprise because those dogs or slaves you are referring to know how to choose the right type of people! Pity you so much coz you are equating those useful Filipinos to slaves...and what about you - what do you call yourself? Ah I know someone who is simply driving a van and carrying boxes and stuff and at times lazily standing in a corner in TST desperately waiting for a call to drive the van again and carry boxes and stuff! So define slave now!! God bless the PHILIPPINES more!
caractacus
Some commendable sentiments, but why do you connect this with the Manila Bus shootings at all?

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