Natural disasters seems to be striking our Asian class mates. Several weeks ago, it was the earthquake in Western Java. Last week it was a typhoon and floods in Manila. Sometimes our virtual classroom linkups with Claret school, of Quezon City, are not possible, if Manila is enduring typhoons. The school canbe closed during these forces of nature.
Typhoons are something that we do not experience where we live in Australia, so it is difficult for us to imagine what it would be like to witness them directly. It was with great joy that I got an email response quickly from Rox, my online teaching friend, to say that he was okay, as were his students and school as they lived on higher land when the recent typhoon and heavy flooding occurred. His school was going to be used as a relief operation centre and as such would be closed to students for two days.
See the horror of it all in this video. If you can, please give generously.
One of the amazing stories to come out of this is of @mariak who I follow on twitter. Here are a selection of her tweets during the typhoon.
Sept 13th Just got an email that my daughter arrived safely in Manila.On her way to Cebu Island for marine research.
- Sept 28th Trying 2 get news on my daughter Abby who is in Manila w research team.Haven’t heard from her in 2 days.Need help from anyone.retweet plse.
- @manilaflood Trying to get info about Univ of Phil. campus status. Have a daughter visiting there w OceanGenomeLegacy research team. Worried
- is there anywhere i can call to get updates.Any elec. or phone service in Manila. thanx for your tweet.I’m a worried mom.
- Thank you. My daughter is safe. A tech teacher in Manila found her at the University and sent me a message.
- http://twitpic.com/jjv08 – This is one of the pics I received this morning from the wonderful teacher in Manila who located my daughter.
That tech teacher was my friend Rox. How proud I am to know him! This again shows the power of web2.0 where tweets, email, skype, mobile phones, video cameras can achieve almost impossible results. The other wonderful person in this story is Lorraine Leo who introduced me to Rox and who has also shared classrooms with all of us. It was Lorraine fjrom Boston, USA, who connected with Rox on the basis of @mariak’s tweets.