In September and October, the Philippines were struck by dreadful storms and typhoons, which devastated the islands. Three named storms in a row brought floods, landslides which washed away houses and roads, misery, disease and death. Aid agencies like World in Need were pushed to their limit. The school we operate on the Smokey Mountain rubbish dump became a sanctuary for those who had been made homeless, and we supplied blankets, shelter, food and clothes for those in need.
Now, south of Manila, the Mayan volcano has erupted, spewing volcanic lava and plumes of ash into the air, and causing 20,000 to flee their homes. How much more can these people be expected to take?
Some people say this is a series of unfortunate events. Unlucky Philippines, caught in the middle of a cycle of bad weather and earth movements and heatings. Others will say it's man made, the results of global warming, a climate change caused by man's activities world wide. Whatever caused it, it has brought misery and uncertainty to thousands.
And the cycle will continue. The volcanic debris will affect the local atmosphere, causing pollution, making it difficult to breathe. Previous huge eruptions across the world have blocked out sunlight and raised temperatures far from the volcanoes. It affects us all.
A timely reminder that we are all in this together.