The trail of destruction the typhoon left in its wake.
Everyone surely knows about at least one of the prophecies that predict the end of the world in different ways and following different causes, most notably the one from last year, which was told to be predicted by the Maya’s. Most of the contemporary ones tell about how the world will be destroyed by nature. For the centre part of the Philippines, that apocalypse has already taken place.
Haiyan is bound to be counted as one of the biggest typhoons that ever made landfall in recorded history. It smashed into the archipelago on friday last week (8th of November 2013). So far, rumors talk about 10,000 dead and about 600,000 displaced. Even in it’s mediocre stage, it was being labelled a category 5 storm. It will easily get into the all time top 15 at least. If we add to this severity the actual physics of the land it hit, it becomes clear why we can compare this storm to an apocalypse. The biggest problem is that the area it hit consists of islands, which are not capable of stopping a typhoon. Above that, many people live near the coast and there was only little natural covers like dense forests and mountains.
A man cries out in pain after his three daughters were snatched from his protecting arms by the surge that came with the stormy winds and rains. Hours later, he managed to find the two youngest of them, buried by debris, dead. His oldest daughter is still missing, his house has been reduced to a pile of rubble and most of his belongings have been destroyed. But the biggest problem at the moment is the lack of food, water and other supplies. The stench of death still hangs in the streets and some parts of the affected area is unreachable. The situation turns ever more gloomy as reports pour in about people pillaging stores and warehouses and taking up arms in an attempt to protect themselves or fight for food. Chaos and anarchy are born when there’s not enough to go around.
Imagine the apocalypse
What Haiyan looked like from outer space.
When storms of the size of Haiyan would occur all over the world at once, supported by some Earthquakes and other disasters, our world would be in danger. Not because everyone dies, because unless for example our sun explodes or the composition of the atmosphere changes in an instant, there will always be survivors. And while many stories tell about how humanity gets a second chance after a disaster, and while that might be what happens, it’s more likely the aftermath will destroy us. Our world and society are built with technology and is all about progression. In most areas, the connection with nature has been lost for a long time. Even though in some countries survival is still a struggle, these kinds of storms tend to change established power structures as well as make you question everything you know and believe in.
The survivors of this global series of disasters would be secluded from overseas communities, trapped in their new small world. There would be no one left to travel to the affected areas with supplies and helping hands. The wounded will die and the healthy will find themselves fighting for anything useful they can get their hands on. Not from the start of course, but when resource reserves are depleted, it will be the survival of the fittest all over again. People will pillage and raid as gangs thrive. There will be no soldiers left, as they are trying to protect their own families at that time. Add to this anarchy the disasters occurring in the wake of the apocalypse, like nuclear spills (2011), aftershocks and tsunamis (2004), and humanity will be left to die and rot, and wither like an obsolete harmony of colors and scents. Where unity fades, all that remains falls apart.
Nature will not destroy humanity, but nature can strip us from our resources, which would leave us to die a slow death. While the Philippines will eventually recover thanks to the help from others, a divided world in this situation wouldn’t. Add to this the fact that it never rains, it pours, and you can see why the desperation in the Philippines could be an example of what an apocalypse could look like. We have to understand the importance of supporting each other. In the wake of typhoon Haiyan too, we must prove we can achieve unity for the Philippines, and for each oter.
“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)” – Cicero
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – J.K. Rowling