Lutheran World Relief Responds to Devastating Philippines Typhoon

According to the latest reports 331 people are confirmed dead as a result of the typhoon and hundreds remain missing. More than 348,000 people have fled to evacuation centers for safety.

The storm made landfall three times as it passed northern Mindanao, central Visayas and Palawan, but southern Mindanao was the hardest hit. The typhoon brought 130 mile per hour wind gusts and heavy rainfall that triggered landslides and floods along the coast and in farming and mining towns inland.

Early government reports show that damage to housing and community buildings is severe; in some areas 95 percent of structures have been destroyed. Agricultural lands have also been affected, as have some LWR projects and partner communities.

In the community of Hinatuan, where LWR works with families to improve income, partners report that the damage from Typhoon Bopha is much greater than that of Tropical Storm Washi. Water on roads and highways are waist deep in some areas and more than 34,000 people have been evacuated to shelters. Abalone and fish caging, a main source of income in LWR project areas, were completely ruined.

Even before the storm went off-shore, Lutheran World Relief began assessing the damage on the ground and the needs of families in cooperation with the United Nations, local governments, fellow international non-governmental organizations and with local partner Habitat for Humanity Philippines. LWR is also working closely with partners in the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of church agencies engaged in development, humanitarian response and advocacy.

“As we get a clearer picture of the damage and the needs of the people, LWR will work with partners to develop an emergency response program that focuses on the most urgent needs, such as rebuilding livelihoods, providing shelter and creating financial resources for recovering families,” says Fairley. LWR will also send a shipment of Quilts and Personal Care Kits to affected areas.

SOURCE Lutheran World Relief