Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest in world history, reached the Philippines in the early morning hours of Friday, November 8.
The storm made landfall six times, flattening entire villages with winds up to 295 kph (183 mph). As of Tuesday, the death toll reached 1,774 with more than 800,000 residents displaced.
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The Church of the Nazarene’s Asia-Pacific Region Office reported two districts, Eastern Visayas and Panay, were hit the hardest and four others were impacted: Bicol, Central Visayas, Negros, and Southern Tagalog. There are more than 4,400 Nazarenes on the two hardest hit districts, according to 2013 statistics.
“We praise God that we do not have any Nazarenes casualties nor injured,” said Philippine-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator Stephen Gualberto. “However, some of them lost some relatives and friends. The report of our assessment team in all the cities/towns they visited painted a very horrific scene of the effect of Typhoon Haiyan.”
In Panay, the district superintendent’s house and Tiwi Church of the Nazarene were destroyed. The D.S., who is visiting local churches and families on his bicycle, said Kalubigan Church of the Nazarene’s parsonage was damaged. Culasi Church of the Nazarene is housing 15-20 Nazarene families that were evacuated from the coastal zone and several other churches are cooking food and providing shelter for displaced families.
The Eastern Visayas District experienced unprecedented destruction and has little means of communication. The D.S. reported several Nazarenes are in an evacuation shelter. One city, Tacloban, was flooded 3 meters (10 feet) by a storm surge.
Nazarene Child Sponsorship reports all sponsored children in Davao are safe.
In coordination with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, the Philippine Field Office Disaster Response Rapid Assessment Team selected four major response methods. The first, distribution of emergency relief supplies, includes providing blankets, mosquito nets, candles, and food packs that will feed a family of five for two days. The second focus is on hygiene and clean water. Third is shelter, and the fourth is protection and emotional care, including psychosocial intervention and trauma diffusing for children.
NCM and Global Mission personnel arrived safely in the Philippines and are attempting to reach affected areas despite challenges.
Prayer is requested for those affected and relief efforts.
Video update from our team in the Philippines
How to help:
Additional volunteers needed to help local volunteers/church members in the affected places:
Priority 1 (Immediate need):
Medical Teams/health workers (foreign & locals).
Stress debriefers (locals).
Point persons to coordinate logistics, communications, organizing & mobilizing volunteers, shipment, and relief distribution manager.
Skilled construction workers (at least in Ormoc City).
Priority 2 (needed next week if possible):
Teachers, lay people and even senior college students with teaching/education background to conduct Psychosocial Intervention for children.
Priority 3 (can come in three weeks from now):
Skilled construction workers for the rest of Leyte and Samar (but depending on the availability of materials in the area).
Anyone who wants to be involved in clean-up and other work.
Staging area of relief and volunteers for Samar and Leyte is Cebu City. Foreign volunteers will fly into Manila then to Cebu City airport or Iloilo.
We asked that volunteers would cover their travel expense to Leyte or Samar. However, we can offer lodging (in tents), and provide food. There are no hotels in the affected areas, so volunteers should be ready and willing to experience many discomforts.
If you have the specific skills listed above and would like to volunteer please fill out the following form and you will be contacted shortly.
Donate online now through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries by clicking here.