Typhoon Haiyan, possibly the strongest storm ever to make landfall, battered parts of the Philippines on Friday, November 8. With sustained winds of 195 mph, the category 5 storm cut a swath of devastation across the northern tip of Cebu and tore through the three large island provinces of Samar, Leyte and Bohol. UMCOR is working with partners in the Philippines to monitor the situation and will work to provide assistance immediately following the typhoon.
Ciony Eduarte, who heads the UMCOR Philippines office, has been monitoring the situation with trained volunteers. UMCOR is ready to respond as soon as the impacted area is accessible and assessments are made. UMCOR Philippines—a national field office of the United Methodist Committee on Relief—was not directly affected.
While more than one million people were evacuated, Reuters reports that more than 12 million people were at risk. Some are at risk in areas still reeling from a deadly 2011 storm and a 7.2-magnitude quake that struck just last month. Landslides, power outages, flash flooding, and impassible roads are complicating emergency response efforts, but humanitarian relief organizations, like UMCOR, are ready to respond as soon as conditions allow.
UMCOR anticipates responding through local and international partners. Jack Amick, who leads UMCOR’s international disaster response said, “This is clearly a very large event and has the possibility of causing significant damage and loss of life, we’ve already been in touch with our field office and are monitoring the storm very closely. As always, our response will be based on the needs in the impacted communities.“
Please keep the people of the Philippines and the staff of UMCOR Philippines in your prayers. Donations to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, will be used to respond to this and similar emergencies.