My heart is heavy this morning for the people of the central Philippines. Initial reports seemed that Typhoon Haiyan had moved over the islands with such speed as to avoid the major destruction of flooding and mudslides. But subsequent reports of a deadly storm surge of seawater (think Katrina, Sandy, the Asian tsunami) up to 13 feet deep, along with winds clocked up to 190 mph, have decimated lowlands. Today’s NY Times story and slideshow paint a grim picture of total destruction in some areas, with many others unaccounted for… http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/12/world/asia/vast-challenges-for-philippines-after-typhoon.html?_r=0
In anticipation of the typhoon, last week WV had pre-positioned relief supplies but I have not seen reports yet on whether those are already being deployed. As you’ll see in the NY Times video clip above, WV’s global supply site in Frankfurt has air-shipped blankets, tarps, and medical supplies. (I’ve also run across in-country WV interviews on BBC and NPR.) WV has many ongoing programs and sponsored children in the effected areas, and staff who live alongside the people they serve there. The most recent internal SitReps from World Vision include this:
Twenty World Vision ADPs [area development programs] across nine provinces are affected by this latest disaster, including in Bohol, which was hit by an earthquake last month. In World Vision ADPs, close to 40,000 sponsored children and their families are potentially affected.
There are reports that 10,000 people have died in one area alone (Tacloban) as a result of the massive storm. The number of recorded fatalities is likely to rise as communications channels are restored and access improves to impacted areas. Around 4 million people are believed to be affected by the disaster country-wide. Lack of communication and power outages, plus destruction of major roads and infrastructure is rendering information flow extremely difficult.
The key needs will be water and sanitation, food, shelter, child protection and education, health and nutrition and psychosocial support. Staff care is also a priority – many staff have been personally affected by this latest disaster and relief workers have been managing back-to-back disaster responses this year.
World Vision is planning to target 400,000 people with relief operations. To meet the significant humanitarian needs of children and communities affected by Typhoon Haiyan, World Vision is appealing for US$20 million for its response.
Please join me in prayer for the people in these devastated communities, our staff, sponsored children, and for effective and speedy relief operations.
PS: Janet and I felt moved to donate for relief the day the typhoon hit and may send more. If you feel led to do so, the fastest way is through our website Typhoon Haiyan Response page http://www.worldvision.org/news-stories-videos/typhoon-haiyan-philippines , or contact me for details.