November 10, 2013
|Photo from The Telegraph 2013|
Numerous fund raisers for victims of the Philippine typhoon are taking place across the United States. Organizers of benefit concerts, 5-K walks, and other fundraisers hope to raise millions for the victims.
President Obama issued the following statement:
Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Super Typhoon Yolanda. But I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy. The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the Government's relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm.An estimated 9.5 million people were affected by the worst storm ever recorded.
The U.S. has troops on the ground in the Philippines and more Marines are are on their way to help with search and rescue efforts. Defense Secretary Hagel deployed ships and aircraft to bring in supplies and provide humanitarian assistance.
Entire towns are cut off because of blocked roads and impassable rubble. Electricity, water and food are unavailable to hundreds of thousands in Tacloban, Samar and other Philippine provinces.
The Chicago Tribune reported:
An official of World Vision based in Cebu Province said there were early reports that as much as 90 percent of northern Cebu had been destroyed.
An aid team from Oxfam reported "utter destruction" in the northern-most tip of Cebu, the charity said.The government is now estimating that 10,000 people have died in the worst typhoon ever recorded.
Eyewitnesses describe the damage from the storm like World War III. An American visiting Tacloban before the storm said the city was the city was lawless:
“Everything is being looted. Rotten apples can do now what they want. There is no law enforcement; [it’s] a free-for-all. Nobody feels safe, even the Filipinos. And so many have lost their families."
“Hotels, everything -- cash registers, even McDonalds -- everything is looted. Anything that has any value. It’s like a movie.”
But in many cases, he acknowledged, desperation and a need to survive were driving people to break the law.
“People are thinking, 'If I don't steal this, how am I going to feed my children in two to three weeks,’” he said.Please help
Links to agencies that are assisting victims of the typhoon:
The Philippine Red Cross
World Food Programme