Typhoon Haiyan: One Year On

On 8 November 2013, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record hit the Philippines. One year on, read about how local Compassion staff have assisted with the rebuilding efforts.

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Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan brought a mass of destruction across the Central Philippines. Winds of up to 270km/h, totally destroyed 570,000 homes across Visayas and severely damaged 1.1 million more. As a result of Typhoon Haiyan, according to the UN, 4.1 million people were displaced and 2.5 million people required humanitarian assistance. According to the BBC, over 5000 people lost their lives.

The hardest hit areas where Compassion assisted children live were Bohol, Cebu, Legazpi, Mindoro, Negros, Panay, Sorsogon, Leyte and Samar.

In total, 6449 Compassion assisted children from 62 child development centres, 11 caregivers from three Child Survival Programs and seven Leadership Development Program students were affected. These affected families had their homes either damaged or destroyed completely and many lost personal belongings such as furniture, bedding and school supplies, among other things.

Thankfully, no Compassion assisted children, their family members or Compassion staff died as a result of Typhoon Haiyan.

Once the aftershock of the typhoon began to wear off, local Compassion staff assessed the damages and together with Compassion Philippines and Compassion partner countries all around the world, began the rebuilding efforts with the help of disaster relief donations and Critical Interventions.

How to survive a typhoon

A reason to smile

The New Life Assembly of God Church runs the Capstone Generation Child Development Centre in Bantayan, Philippines. Typhoon Haiyan destroyed the homes of 197 Compassion assisted children who attend the centre.

Electricity lines were down and locals were unable to go fishing, the most common occupation in the community. Pastor Rogelio Diez, the senior pastor of the New Life Assembly of God Church, struggled with how to help the affected families and was thankful for the support of Compassion Philippines.

“Compassion responded right away in bringing relief goods,” says Pastor Diez. “They also sent a medical team and now they are helping families as they rebuild their homes.”

Through Compassion’s Critical Interventions, the New Life Assembly of God Church is helping to rebuild the homes of 197 Compassion assisted children.

Looking forward with hope

Looking forward with hope

The Christian Church Fellowship International (CCFI) church building in Cappocan, Leyte was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. The church’s roof was completely ripped off, parts of the concrete walls were torn down and Pastor Ursulo de La Pena was unsure if they would be able to rebuild at all.

“I lost hope. I didn’t know what to do,” says Pastor Ursulo.

In September 2014, 10 months after Typhoon Haiyan hit, they held their first service inside their newly constructed building, thanks to Compassion’s Critical Interventions. They were also able to repair the homes of 142 Compassion assisted children who had their homes either severely damaged or completely uprooted and destroyed.

“To God be the glory for our sponsors and all who supported our church rebuilding. If we did this on our own, it would seem impossible, but it became possible because of God’s guidance,” says Pastor Ursulo.

Thank you

Thank you to all of our generous supporters who gave over $678,000 to our immediate Typhoon Haiyan disaster relief appeal. We also raised over $1.1m in our Buildings for Kids appeal which helped many affected communities in the Philippines rebuild following the devastation of the typhoon.

Words by Edwin Estioko and Monique Wallace

Photos by Edwin Estioko

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