I recently returned from the Philippines where I received an award at my undergraduate alma mater’s alumni homecoming, delivered a faculty lecture about engaged learning, and presented a paper about smarter cities at an international conference on urban planning.
Little did I know that my brief visit to the Philippines would be eventful. Simultaneous with our arrival in the Philippines was the landfall of Super Typhoon Haiyan (referred to as Yolanda in the Philippines), which destroyed 494,611 houses, affected 9.8 million Filipinos (including 3 million displaced residents), and resulted in the loss of 3,637 lives thus far.[i] Haiyan/Yolanda cut a path that deviated from most Philippine typhoons and was unexpected by the 51 cities and 471 municipalities in 41 provinces[ii] that encountered its fury.
Thanks to international media, many images of this catastrophe have been transmitted to the homes of millions around the world, who watched the horrific destruction. It is not my intention to repeat here what has been reported. If you have not yet done so, I invite you to contribute to the relief efforts on the Woodbury University website http://communication.woodbury.edu/philippines-typhoon-victims/.