On Friday 8th November, Typhoon Haiyan battered six central islands of the Philippines with ferocious winds, rain and sea storm surges and is now considered the most destructive natural calamity ever in the country’s history.
The city of Tacloban in Leyte province is one of the worst affected areas. Casualty reports are still coming in but the International Committee of the Red Cross said it is realistic to estimate that 10,000 people may have died nationally. The city, with a population of 200,000, is now estimated to have 80% of its structures destroyed. In some coastal areas, waves as high as 15 metres (45ft) high smashed onto the land flattening homes, buildings and the airport with rushing water and wind tearing children away from their parents’ arms, separating loved ones and drowning countless numbers of helpless people.
Hundreds of people have queued in futility at the devastated airport, desperate to leave the country. The death toll is threatening to soar as in many areas there is no clean water or electricity and very little food. Hundreds of thousands are displaced. Bodies are scattered on the streets as the city’s only functioning hospital is overrun with patients and is desperate for medical supplies that have now run out. In some areas, the dead are being buried in mass graves as the stench of death becomes overwhelming.
“Tacloban is totally destroyed. Some people are losing their minds from hunger or from losing their families,” a high school teacher told one news agency.
“People are becoming violent. They are looting business establishments, the malls, just to find food, rice and milk… I am afraid that in one week, people will be killing from hunger.”
Philippine Interior Secretary Mar Roxas said the scale of the relief operation that was now required was overwhelming, with some places described as a wasteland of mud and debris.
Please can you help us? A quick response is the best response. Right now, funds are urgently needed to buy basic humanitarian supplies such as clean drinking water, food, tents, bedding, cookers, clothing and medical supplies.
World Outreach International have a target of raising an initial $100,000. Will you help us reach that target?
WOI has been involved in the Philippines for more than 50 years, and still today one of its ministries – Living Springs International – is very active throughout the country. WOI missionary Paul Won, who has lived and ministered on Samar island, will be coordinating our relief efforts through local partner organisations.
It is a very sad day indeed for the people of the Philippines. Right now, the need for aid is extremely urgent, however the road of recovery will be long and arduous for many. Please be praying for those affected by this natural tragedy.
Thank you for helping.
May God bless you.
John Elliott, International Director
Photo credit: Reuters & BBC News.
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