Typhoon Haiyan left monumental devastation when it struck the central Philippines November 8, 2013. The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, has been identified as one of the worst recorded typhoons in history. A CNN report states that Haiyan was stronger than both Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy combined.
At least 1,200 people have died, according to the Philippine Red Cross; but unconfirmed sources estimate more than 10,000 deaths. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.
Local sources and international news agencies report severe destruction with damaged roads and buildings, downed power lines and telecommunications, and flooded villages.
The damage to airports and roads is hampering initial relief efforts. A report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that roundtrip travel on the only cleared road which connects the airport to the city currently takes about six hours.
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, but cities and towns in other parts of the Philippines are also facing huge losses. The areas hit cover already poverty-stricken communities, which have suffered from successive and simultaneous emergencies.
Six mission co-workers and four Young Adult Volunteers along with former moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow were in the Philippines when the storm struck. All of them are safe.
How you can Help
Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000012-Philippines. Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, online
( https://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/DR000012/ ),
or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. You can also text ‘PDA’ to 20222 to donate $10 for disaster response.
Act. Sign up to receive PDA RIN (Rapid Information Network) emails to be aware of current responses and urgent needs you can share with your congregation. Like us on Facebook PDACARES.
Pray. Please pray that through the response of the faith community, the people and communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan and those offering assistance will be strengthened, have their needs met, and be reminded of the hope and compassion that are found in Christ.
If they prefer not to give online, members of First Presbyterian Church can make out their checks to the church and earmark them for “typhoon relief.”
Other disaster relief agencies at work in the Philippines in addition to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance are Doctors Without Borders https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/onetime.cfm?source=AZD130000S02&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&gclid=CIyHrL6F77oCFSEV7AodRRIATw&mpch=ads
And Oxfam America http://www.oxfamamerica.org/