(Photo credit: Reuters)
Thirteen months ago, the Philippines was devastated by one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record, Typhoon Haiyan. Late Saturday, 6 December 2014, another massive storm—Typhoon Hagupit (also known as Typhoon Ruby by locals)—made landfall, hitting the island of Samar.
Thousands of people fled their homes in anticipation of the typhoon, which measured around 600km across, with gusts peaking at 195km/hour. According to one report, approximately 40 million people were in the path of the storm’s winds.
Hagupit made landfall in the town of Dolores, located in the Eastern Samar province, which is part of the same region where thousands were killed by Typhoon Haiyan just last year.
Compassion Australia staff member Linton Chalmers was on the ground in the Philippines when the typhoon hit.
“The expert way in which the whole country prepared shows this is something they are very familiar with. All advertising billboards taken down, wooden covers over all glass, and not a person in sight on public roads,” says Linton of the preparation efforts.
“The winds and rain were extreme, and lasted for more than 24 hours. Sitting in a hotel shaking mightily from the force of the wind, we could only imagine what it must be like for those in the slums. Considering the rudimentary makeup of the homes of the poor, they are ill equipped to handle the nature of the weather we saw.”
As of 10 December 2014, 70 child development centres have been affected by the typhoon, which includes 3013 Compassion assisted children and 12 caregivers from the Child Survival Program.
We have yet to receive detailed information about the full extent of the storm’s effect on Compassion’s local church partners and assisted children’s homes, but we anticipate the damage to be catastrophic.
We are asking you to please give to our Disaster Relief Fund to assist in the relief and recovery efforts following Typhoon Hagupit.
Compassion Philippines staff, in partnership with our local church partners, are ready to respond. They will begin accounting for registered children’s wellbeing, and delivering relief goods to the affected communities when it is safe to begin relief efforts. Once emergency relief activities are completed, they will assess the full extent to which Compassion assisted families and local church partners have been affected and begin recovery efforts.
If a child you sponsor in the Philippines has been affected by Typhoon Hagupit, Compassion Australia will contact you directly as soon as we receive information. Please pray for the Lord’s protection and care for the Philippines—and please support Compassion’s disaster relief efforts in the Philippines by giving to our Disaster Relief Fund.
Words by Aaron Armstrong (Compassion Canada) and Monique Wallace
Photo by Reuters