We are currently in Manila and plan to be at the American Cemetery on Veterans Day, this coming Monday.
Due to the historic typhoon that hit the central Philippines yesterday, we have received a number of texts and emails hoping to hear that we are safe. You can rest assured that we are fine, as the effect on Manila and Corregidor was minimal. Although Typhoon Haiyan (locally called Yolanda) may have been the strongest storm to ever hit land, with winds at 315 kph/197 mph, it was also a relatively small storm in circumference. Southern Luzon sustained damage, but it is a long island so we are a considerable distance from there, but the central islands of the Visayan region have sustained heavy damage.
We have heard – so this is unconfirmed – that the Tacloban Airport in Leyte, which we have used on several occasions, has been severely damaged, if not entirely destroyed, by high winds and a storm surge. We have friends whose families are in the areas that were hit the hardest, and are praying that they will be okay. The official death toll is still very low but with communications cut off, even the reporters are guessing to some degree on their coverage.
In any event, once again, we are safe and sound, with the storm having no more effect on Manila than a typical day during rainy season.
Thanks for your concern.
Steve and Marcia on the Rock