The most powerful storm ever to hit land struck the Philippines on 8 November, causing widespread destruction on an unprecedented scale. Over 10,000 are already feared dead and millions of terrified people have lost their homes and possessions.
Typhoon Haiyan has had a catastrophic effect on the lives of millions of people in the Philippines. The so-called “super-typhoon” was reportedly the most powerful storm ever to make landfall, killing an estimated 10,000 people in Tacloban city alone. Hundreds have been killed elsewhere, and there has widespread destruction of homes, schools and roads.
We are working with our partners to provide the most urgently needed aid: food, emergency shelter and essential household goods –– like pots, pans, blankets and cooking equipment – for people who have lost everything. With water supplies disrupted, we are also planning to provide clean water and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease. In the longer term, we will help people to rebuild their homes and make a living again.
Because of the scale of the flooding and because roads have been blocked, some parts of the country remain difficult to reach – but our Church partners have launched their responses wherever they can.
Fr. Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of Caritas Philippines, said:
“It’s the first time the Philippines has experienced a disaster of this magnitude. Despite the precautions, this was beyond all expectations. We really need all the help we can get.”
The typhoon hit some of the same areas that were affected by an earthquake in October, adding to damage to houses and hampering aid efforts. Thousands of people on Bohol island, where CAFOD was responding to the recent earthquake, are now living in tents, makeshift shelters and evacuation centres.
CAFOD has worked in the Philippines since 1969. We have recently responded to several emergencies in the country, including Tropical Storm Washi in 2011, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and the earthquake that hit Bohol island last month.
Please click here to give to the Typhoon Haiyan appeal. We urgently need your support.
You can also give by phone on 0500 85 88 85, or by post to Freepost RSHJ-KJBY-YXLT, Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Appeal, CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7JB.
For those wishing to organise a collection in their parish for the appeal, you can download gift aid forms, posters, and other resources at cafod.org.uk/typhoon.
Thank you to those across Westminster who have already supported the appeal. Please keep those affected in your thoughts and prayers. You can download a special prayer for those affected here.