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The numbers, truly comprehended, are more soul searing than merely tragic. Also, there are no official numbers released because no one oficially does or can keep track. Information that the First World takes for granted about itself simply has no counterpart in the Third World.

But well within the range of what's cited is that Typhoon Yolanda pretty much wiped out 600,000 homes, displacing some 2,000,000 filipinos residing in them. (Which, in itself, makes no sense, because I don't know where in the Philippines you'd find a house with only three people trying to call it home.) What and where and who and how, for how many are concepts that are too large for those affected to even possibly try to think about. Those surviving those endless scenes of almost unbelievable destruction have neither the luxury nor the inclination to think beyond their own here and now.

So what do they do, these "survivors"? And you see it even in those Tacloban (taCLOban) photos where once mighty ocean going vessels are now parked on top of what used to be entire neignborhoods. No houses, but still their homes, and if they ever give that up, only then do they become truly homeless. A fate, really, that is far worse than the horror we in our comfortable lives have convinced ourselves we're witnessing when we see the electronic images of how many people, how many people, crawling out from rubble to accept "food aid", only to return to that very exact piece of ground that has housed they and theirs (how ever many times divided ever smaller over the generations) for longer than Europeans have existed in the lands where we build our tract homes, and McMansions.


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