The most powerful typhoon in 2020, Goni, ripped through the Philippines last November 2 triggering storm surges, landslides, and flooding in various parts of the archipelago. The storm destroyed homes and livelihoods, left at least 17 people dead and thousands without food, water, and shelter. It devastated a country already reeling from the effects of the ongoing pandemic.
Metro Manila narrowly escaped the onslaught but the surrounding southern provinces weren’t as lucky. Catanduanes, an island found southeast of Luzon, was severely affected by the super typhoon.1 million residents were evacuated to escape the path of Goni which has wind speeds comparable to that of super typhoon Haiyan and considered a category 5 hurricane in some parts of the world.
The sheer number of Filipinos affected by the calamity caught the attention of the international community. News of their plight reached the top management of the Cubebit Group prompting them to deploy their CubeCare platform to assist in the multinational relief efforts. They wanted to help ease the suffering of the Filipinos by distributing supplies and provisions to all affected people, especially in hard-hit areas like the Visayas and the southern part of Luzon.
According to Cubebit Management, the Cubebit community is working diligently to help in any way they can to assist the displaced residents of affected areas. These include the emergency responders and volunteers who brave the storm to help transport evacuees to safety. The Cubebit Community wants to extend its help in every way possible helping families, businesses, and communities recover and rebuild during this challenging period.
Konstantin Janke, the young visionary CEO at Cubebit called on the CubeBit community to exemplify the values of the organization and requested its members to help in whatever capacity they can. He also acknowledges that the community members are already busy managing challenging personal situations amidst the global epidemic but nonetheless calls for the extra effort in going the extra mile and to demonstrate grace under pressure.
Super typhoon Goni now holds the record as the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone by 1- minute sustained wind speeds. Clocking in at 315 km/h or 195 mph it eclipses the previous record of super typhoon Haiyan which also made landfall in the Philippines back in 2013 killing thousands of Filipinos and wreaking havoc to the once-bustling city of Tacloban. The aftermath of Haiyan serves as a grim reminder of what may happen if help does not arrive in time.
Back in 2013, due to the extreme scarcity of food, water, and other basic necessities, civil unrest and lawlessness ensued. The lack of assistance from the government fueled anger and incited looting for survival. While relief efforts eventually reached Tacloban city including additional government law enforcers to restore order, we saw a glimpse of what could happen when people become too desperate.
The notably much lower number of casualties during super typhoon Goni compared to super typhoon Haiyan should not be an indication of Goni’s destructive power. The lower death count can be attributed to the forceful evacuation efforts of the government. In addition, the willingness of residents who by now, are well aware of the destructive power of super typhoons and the perils it brings should they choose to stay.
Reports estimate Bicol incurred P17.9 billion (US$369 million) worth of damage due to typhoon Goni. These include damage to crops, livestock, homes, and public infrastructure. Government authorities said substantial downpours brought about by the typhoon caused waterways to overflow and floodway barriers to breach. They also revealed more than 300 houses were covered by volcanic rocks and lahar due to the extreme weather.
Across Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island, 2.1 million residents were affected by Goni, with more than 50,000 homes left without power after the typhoon. Goni is the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines over the previous month and came shortly seven days after storm Molave killing 22 individuals and forcing 120,000 individuals to escape to safer ground. Barely two weeks after super typhoon Goni visited the country another typhoon is expected.
The Philippines is currently battling with the effects of the Covid-19, and this latest typhoon has exacerbated the strain on government resources. The Philippines has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in Southeast Asia, with more than 383,000 cases and more than 7,200 deaths. This makes dealing with the super typhoon Goni even more difficult. The unceasing physical, mental, emotional, and economic toll of Covid-19 may prove too much to handle for the dwindling and strained resources of the Philippine government.
This underscores the importance of external help coming from the international community. Cubebit’s relief operation through its Cubecare platform is one such initiative. Although in its early pilot phase has already sent much-needed relief goods to the Visayas region particularly in the Bicol region where super typhoon Goni unleashed its fullest strength. Residents of the region had been battered by one typhoon after the other.
Cubecare is the newest platform of the Cubebit 2.0 ecosystem. The main aim of the initiative is to provide a decentralized, transparent, and secure crowdfunding platform that will enable the company and its members to give back to the global community especially where Cubebit 2.0 operates. According to Cubebit’s CEO, Konstantin Janke, the platform will have its own fund which will be used to help communities around the world where Cubebit is active.
At a time where global resources are strained by a pervasive and resilient contagion, finding organizations that are willing to take up the challenge of social responsibility is difficult. In this regard, Cubebit’s corporate values truly shine during these trying times. Not only they are able and willing to help but have created a viable, sustainable, inclusive, and safe platform where everyone is invited to participate.
The launch of Cubecare platform gives a clear insight into the unique corporate culture of Cubebit 2.0. It demonstrates the company’s strong affinity towards social responsibility and what kind of organizational values it espouses. It is currently in its development phase and is expected to be fully operational sometime this year.