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Urgent! Your help is needed for Typhoon Yolanda affected families in Visayas region
Typhoon Haiyan, reported by media outlets as possibly the strongest tropical cycloneExternal Link in recorded history, made landfall Friday morning local time in Samar, central Philippines, with winds clocked at 195 miles per hour.
Images of houses damaged, large trees uprooted, and swelling waves caused by storm surges towering as high as 16 feet have occupied international and local headlines.
An estimated 25 million people are affected in Visayas and Luzon alone. Many have been displaced, especially in Bohol, where about 5,000 families remain temporarily sheltered in makeshift tents following the recent earthquake.
World Vision is preparing to launch an emergency response to help affected vulnerable children and families.
‘The impact has been tremendous’
World Vision staff in Leyte, Bohol and Cebu reports to international news agencies as CNN and BBC to give eye witness reports of the vast destruction the super typhoon caused in its wake.
“The impact has been tremendous. It’s reported to be the biggest typhoon of the year, and it is,” said Gjeff Lamigo, World Vision communications manager.
At more than 100 evacuation centers in the affected area, the greatest needs include food, clean water, and emergency shelter supplies.
“Families are displaced and living in cramped conditions,” says Aaron Aspi, a World Vision emergency communications specialist.
“Here in Bohol, the area hardest hit during the quake last month, people are still afraid to go inside buildings. Despite urging by the government to go into evacuation centers, they are staying outside in makeshift structures and tents.”
Extent of damage and loss still unknown
Meanwhile, massive communication and power outages across the provinces have made it difficult to determine the full extent of the typhoon’s damage. Among the areas affected are locations of 18 long-term community development programs where World Vision assists 34,460 registered children.
“We’re still trying to reach our colleagues in eastern Visayas where the typhoon made landfall. But it’s been a challenge for the past 12 hours,” Lamigo said. “There’s been a total breakdown in communications. In fact, we haven’t heard from some of our colleagues since this morning; it’s a total communications black hole.
“Because of this [communications breakdown], it’s a bit slow to get a full understanding of the extent of the damage. We’re hoping for the best, but we have yet to find out.”
Massive response begins
World Vision is gathering resources to assist 1.2 million people (240,000 families) with food, non-food items, hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and protection, especially for children and women.
The World Vision national office in the Philippines has committed its total effort for the next three weeks to carry out its largest emergency response to date.
With your help we can move forward with our relief efforts for the Visayas region in providing food, water, hygiene kits, emergency shelter and protection . Your contribution will help us deliver life-saving assistance in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. Consider donating today.