Typhoon Haiyan Shocks the Philippines
Week of Compassion
Your gifts of compassion are already at work. Week of Compassion immediately responded to the news of the horrific typhoon that swept through the Philippines last Friday morning, thanks to you. Funds were sent to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, through Global Ministries. Typhoon Haiyan is one of the worst recorded typhoons in history. It has already killed at least 1,200 people, but unconfirmed sources estimate over 10,000 deaths. 4.5 million people have been affected. Death toll in the typhoon-hit areas is rising as areas currently out of contact are reached. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced. Hardest hit is the central Philippine city of Tacloban, which is said to be flattened and where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. The damage to airports and roads is hampering initial relief efforts, the BBC said.
The scene across the Philippines is one of severe destruction with fallen trees, damaged roads and buildings, downed power lines and telecommunications. Even though the Typhoon has now passed the Philippines, flash floods and landslides which cause additional danger can be expected. The areas hit cover already poverty-stricken communities, which have suffered from successive and simultaneous emergencies. On October 15, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol province in central Philippines. As a result of that emergency alone, over 344,300 people are displaced and living in makeshift shelters built in open spaces near their homes. These people are in dire need of food, non-food items and other emergency relief materials.
The Typhoon continues its journey to Vietnam where it has been downgraded to a tropical storm. There are already hundreds of thousands homeless in Vietnam due to previous storms this year. Last month Typhoon Nari caused the evacuation of over 122,000 people in Vietnam.
The ACT Alliance, through whom Week of Compassion also responds, is preparing for a major humanitarian operation as its members head into the Philippines disaster area today. ACT Members are now in one of the worst hit areas to identify immediate needs. ACT member Lutheran World Relief (LWR) will lead the humanitarian assistance team to the Eastern Visayas city of Tacloban and surrounding areas of northern Leyte, with a representative from fellow ACT member Christian Aid.
Gifts to Week of Compassion are being used to provide immediate effective lifesaving assistance. Thank you for your generosity during this devastating disaster; it is your compassion that allows Week of Compassion to take action.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” 1 Corinthians 12:26