Six days after the most intense storm ever recorded hit the coast of the Philippines, citizens and aid workers struggle to care for the living and bury the dead. Typhoon Haiyan, with winds exceeding 200 MPH has killed over 1,500 people and left thousands more homeless. Fortunately, the Philippine President, Benigno Aquino, recently lowered the estimated death toll by several thousand, but with power and communication knocked out in so many areas getting information out, or relief aid in, is very difficult.
As the BBC reports, ” The UN says more than 11 million people are believed to have been affected and some 673,000 displaced. The relief operation is being stepped up, but many are still without aid. On Wednesday, eight people died as a rice warehouse was looted, officials said….On Tuesday the UN launched an appeal for $301m (Â£190m) to help survivors. It has already released $25m to meet immediate needs.”
There has been a worldwide outpouring of prayers, money and goods in response to the overwhelming need facing this island community. The Philippine air force has been flying transport planes in and out of Tacloban airport, carrying relief supplies and evacuating hundreds of residents. The US is sending its aircraft carrier USS George Washington and other navy ships to help with the relief work. The carrier is expected to arrive within the next few days. The UK’s Royal Navy destroyer HMS Daring is also making its way from Singapore.
For those looking to send a donation or aid in the relief effort, there are several organizations that you might look at:
The Mercy Corps at www.mercycorp.org
The American Red Cross at www.redcross.org
Oxfam at www.oxfam.org
In addition to donations, we at Merlian News offer prayers and healing energy to those souls impacted by this disaster.