Storm in the Philippines

Early on November 8, 2013, a large storm hit the Philippines with the main impact of the storm being in the Visayas region. The town of Guiuan was in the path of the storm which continued westward leaving immense destruction. Nearly all structures in the town suffered damage, many of which were completely flattened.

Some facts and figures based on news reports:

Typhoon Haiyan was 370 miles wide with sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts reaching 235 mph. Where some of the worst flooding occurred the storm surge was 17 feet high. In Guiuan, a town of 45,000 people, every single roof was blown off. 13 million Filipinos are said to have been affected by the typhoon.

 

The storm has made a significant impact on families throughout the Philippines with 4.9 million of these being children (1.5 million are under the age of five who are at risk of Global Acute Malnutrition). The UN reported 4,460 deaths due to the storm, 18,266 injured and 1,602 are missing.

Paul and Gerrah Kulikovsky, from Australia (AMT) were severely impacted by the storm. They say " Within our church community here in Guiuan all have survived together with their immediate families but in Guiuan alone there are 85 officially confirmed dead. We knew several of these personally.

There is incredible destruction of property. The force of the winds were so great not one single place was left unscathed. The only thing that survived on the church property was the actual container. The church roof was totally removed. Two walls collapsed hurting two people who had sheltered there. The main wall that took the brunt of the wind snapped the 14" concrete posts at the base and broke the overhead beam.

 

The newest of the two flats was the first hit by a coconut tree falling. The second was literally blown away along with the two occupants, Elmar and his mother, who were lifted and carried several metres away.

 

At 2-3 am we were monitoring the track of the typhoon but it was relatively

calm outside and we "thought another false warning", "another over reaction" As the wind upped in ferocity, I heard the carport roof at the front give several thumps then that roof gave way. The wind roared. The whole house began to shake and tremble.

Windows exploded. There was just this continual, thunderous noise as the wind intensified even more.

 

The worst of the storm was over but now the heartbreak was to become apparent. I cannot begin to describe what the place looks like. Any picture will not adequately capture the scene. Scenes from these recent doomsday movies where everything has suffered from radioactive blast come pretty near to it.

 

International aid took a couple of days to kick in but because of the destruction region wide and especially what we have heard about Tacloban there are many demands all around. Many places in town began to be looted as people got desperate for food and then became opportunistic.

 

Much money will be needed in the future. A team of 4-5 guys could come and from salvaged materials help set up accommodation for our workers and for shelter for some of our surviving equipment."

 

Echoes will be sending funds to help in the rebuilding project. You can give by ringing 01225310893 or give direct into the Echoes account. If you give direct into the Echoes account please also send an email advising that this has been done with the amount to

karen.hill@echoes.org.uk

 

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