Asians nations devastated, but conditions in the Philippines are improving
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (ASSIST News Service)—World Vision, the international Christian humanitarian organization, is not relenting on its efforts to help the victims of the typhoon flooding that swept across Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and its environs, as it has rushed emergency supplies to children and families devastated by the catastrophic typhoon.
In soliciting for support for the victims, World Vision’s Philippines National Director, Elnora Avarientos, said: “Your help is needed now. Thousands of homes in these areas are damaged or destroyed and the impact of this typhoon on Manila has been shocking.
“Many have lost everything, including bedding, food, education materials, and clothing. The poorest living in slums and settlements are especially badly hit.”
Avarientos further stated that World Vision is working with the Philippine Coast Guard to distribute aid as quickly as possible and that they are dispatching relief by helicopter to some of the hard-to-reach areas, adding that their emergency response teams hope to reach nearly 150,000 people with food and other relief items in some of the hardest-hit areas.
“World Vision is distributing emergency survival kits, which include food, blankets, temporary shelter and clothing in order to provide immediate aid to affected children and families. Your support is crucial right now,” she said.
Speaking also on the calamity that has so far affected more than 3.9 million people in the country, the World Vision staff member in Cagayan province, Wilma Lacaden, said World Vision staff are distributing relief supplies and conducting assessments of survivors’ needs.
She went on to say: “There are many uprooted trees as well as power lines making roads impassable in some areas. Homes constructed of light materials were blown away. In many areas, there is no electricity, and rivers have overflowed making some towns and villages inaccessible.”
Incidentally, the Philippines is not the only country affected by this natural disaster, as some other countries in Asia were also terribly affected by similar disasters. These nations include Vietnam, where Typhoon Ketsana is estimated to have affected around 300,000 people.
World Vision’s national director in Vietnam, Daniel Selvanayagam, reported that children and their families living in low-lying areas were evacuated by the government to schools, hospitals and community buildings.
“Our staff met them there to provide rice, noodles and fresh water to about 5,000 people,” he stated.
In India, the same sad story unfolded, when more than a million people were forced to flee their homes, and nearly 300 have died in devastating floods triggered by torrential rains.
In Cambodia, about 14 people were feared dead as a result of similar flooding in that country, while Laos reported no death from the flooding that affected that country also.
While in Indonesia, it is reported that hundreds of houses, offices, schools and other buildings collapsed in the city of Padang after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck West Sumatra.
“The situation in rural areas is grim. At least 80 percent of the houses have collapsed. People are in urgent need of shelter and water,” said World Vision staff member in Indonesia, Amelia Merrick.
The good news is that in the Philippines life is gradually picking up as some 300,000 people have started to return to their homes from shelters in schools and other places, though a large number of its citizens are still housed in those make-shift shelters.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, donations are still flooding in from churches, other humanitarian organizations and individuals to respond to the devastating destruction one-month’s worth of rain has caused. It’s reported that the country’s Department of Social Welfare and Development has encouraged donors to provide not only food and clothing, but also milk for the children and toiletries such as soaps, shampoos and diapers.