Child asks, ‘Why did this happen to us this Christmas?’

“My entire family of eight including three grandchildren ran for cover at the town’s nearby court while a strong howling wind combined with heavy rain and flying debris battered us from all directions,” shares Elpidia, one of the survivors of Typhoon Odette, in the province of Bohol in central Philippines.

Lola (grandmother) Elpidia adds that they haven’t settled yet inside the court when its roof was also stripped away by the typhoon’s winds. “We ran again and hide inside a day care center until 2 AM the next day. Coming out of their hiding place, they saw the woeful condition of their houses. All their belongings were soaked in water, scattered all over the drenched ground.

Her grandson, Mario, 16, currently Grade 11, immediately looked for his school module. “I found them wet and the pages torn. What’s left is its small folder,” the boy says. “Why this has to happen to us during Christmas season.”

Felix Cinco, World Vision Assessment Team Lead in Bohol, witnessed the dire situation of many families in the province famous for its Chocolate Hills and tarsiers.

“Many families were severely affected, especially those in the coastal areas here in Ubay, Bohol. One of the program areas of World Vision,” says Felix Cinco, World Vision Assessment Team Lead in Bohol. “Typhoon Odette flattens houses, and blown off roofs and family possessions.”

Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) leaves trails of devastation in many parts of Southern Philippines, striking powerful winds and raging flood, knocking off houses and infrastructures. The recent disaster takes more than 300 innocent lives in one sweep.

About 300,000 families are left with almost nothing, currently leaving in many evacuation centers without ample supply of food and water. Many of the villages are still without drinking source, electricity and communication signal.

“World Vision response teams are deployed to the affected areas. We have already coordinated with the local government agencies to get first-hand information on the situation of families and children,” says Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Director Ajab-Aram Macapagat.

The organization looks at possible additional assistance to complement the government’s response efforts.  The assessment teams are currently checking the situation of families in the provinces of Surigao, Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, and Negros Occidental.