Typhoon Haiyan leaves thousands dead in the Philippines; here’s how to help

Typhoon Haiyan

Thank you everyone for your concern about my family in the Philippines. My parents are ok and my home town is not that affected by the recent catastrophe that is Typhoon Haiyan (local: Yolanda). Our place is in Cagayan de Oro, north of Mindanao island, the red dot in this map below.

Philippine map

Cagayan de Oro is luckily, strategically in what’s called a bay. We are tucked and mostly spared from strong typhoons (except the one in 2011 when Typhoon Washi (local: Sendong) lashed and destroyed some parts of Cagayan de Oro leaving thousands dead mostly unprepared because this type of typhoon normally don’t happen here).

cagayan in Philippine map

This time, Cagayan de Oro has learned its lesson and prepared – my parents have evacuated to higher grounds, just in case.

But Typhoon Haiyan made the most destructive landfall not on Cagayan de Oro this time but in the Eastern part of the country: the islands of Leyte and Samar (two islands facing the Pacific directly).

This is the path of destruction:

storm surge

storm path

Photo credit NY Times

Facing the great Pacific ocean, the Philippine archipelago is prone to visiting storms and typhoons. It’s the path of the most vicious typhoons in history. Typhoon Haiyan with winds of up to 300 km/hour battered East and Central Philippines last weekend leaving thousands of dead and massive damage to properties.

So the typhoon has passed, and the Philippines has to MOVE ON. Here’s how we can help (from Time.com):

UNICEF is supporting relief efforts by helping displaced families find access to shelter, clean water, food and vaccines and airlifting $1.3 million of additional supplies from its Copenhagen warehouse. You can donate online, call 1-800-367-5437 or text RELIEF to 864233.

The Philippine Red Cross is providing a tracking service for family members looking for missing people. The organization is accepting donations on its website (100 PHP = $2.30) and is looking for volunteers to help assemble relief packages at its headquarters in Manila.

The American Red Cross has also activated a family tracking service for those looking for a missing family member in the Philippines. Donors can send a check to their local chapter, indicating “Philippines Typhoons and Floods” in the memo line.

World Food Programme is mobilizing 40 metric tons of high-energy biscuits and additional relief supplies, but is also accepting donations online or by calling 202-747-022 or +39-06-65131 from outside the U.S.

CARE is accepting donations on its website and has deployed workers to the Philippines to assist with emergency relief. You can donate by phone at 1-800-521-2273 or +1-404-681-2252 for international calls.

Oxfam has emergency responders on the ground to assist with relief support. The organization is asking for contributions to its Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Fund online.

International Medical Corps is also on the ground to help assess damage and is accepting donations on its emergency response page for Haiyan relief.

ChildFund International is distributing clean water, food, blankets and other emergency aid items. Staff members are also setting up child-centered spaces in evacuation centers to offer counseling and relief for children and their families. Donate online.

Philippines need our help. These heartbreaking videos will hopefully entice you to empathize with the Filipinos suffering, especially the children. Please donate. As I’m writing this, there is another typhoon (tropical depression Zoraida) enter Philippine Area of Responsibility, on the same path. Please pray for the Philippines.

Top photo credit Time.com

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