Tropical Storm Washi devastated the Philippines on December 16 and 17, 2011. The storm was not powerful in the traditional sense—it’s winds never surpassed 55 knots (100 kilometers per hour or 63 miles per hour) and it lacked the organization of an intense typhoon or hurricane. Nonetheless, Washi unleashed extremely heavy rain on northwest Mindanao and the resulting floods left hundreds dead or missing. The death toll from floods in the Philippines rose to 1,249 on Tuesday, more than a week after the disaster struck, with officials expecting more corpses to be found. Tropical storm Washi brought heavy rains, overflowing rivers and flash floods to the southern Philippines from December 16 to 18, sweeping away whole villages built on sandbars and riverbanks. More than 376,000 people were displaced by the storm and almost 55,000 are still huddled in crowded makeshift evacuation centres. The cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan received the most damage.
There is a large Filipino community in Portsmouth, many of whom work in the health services and at QA Hospital. Many have family and friends at the centre of the devastation.
To raise money for Filipino Hurricane Relief the event Love Mindanao has been set up by some Portsmouth creatives. Located at Groundlings Theatre on St Valentines Day the event will include an extraordinary range of arts and cultural contributions from around Portsmouth and Southsea’s arts communities. There will also be bands, singers, dance and theatre performances and workshop sessions, and an exhibition auction/sale of photography and art.
Entry will be £3 on the door and all proceeds will go to the fund.
The organisers are putting out a call for all artists, photographers, poets, or other creative individuals who would like to take part, please contact Los Dave or Diana Goss on Facebook via the Facebook event for more information.