Typhoon Haiyan Appeal

Residents walk on a road littered with debris after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines

REUTERS/Erik De Castro – Courtesy of Alertnet

CAFOD has launched an urgent appeal for support for communities in the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Typhoon Haiyan swept across the country on Friday with winds of up to 235kph, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. Unofficial estimates put the death toll at 10,000 in the province of Tacloban alone. The so-called “super-typhoon” was one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, flattening thousands of homes and destroying schools.

CAFOD is working through its local partners in the Philippines trying to reach those most affected. The conditions are challenging with power still down in many areas and the full extent of the damage is not yet known.

Matthew Carter, Head of CAFOD’s Humanitarian Department, said:

 “It’s clear that the typhoon has had a catastrophic impact. Our partners are on the ground in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs.

“We are also continuing to provide food and shelter to people who lost their homes in the earthquake on the island of Bohol last month. The typhoon has added to the destruction – but we’re doing everything we can to reach people in isolated areas.”

Greg Auberry, CAFOD partner said:

 “The pain of another disaster is devastating. We’re currently moving tarpaulins to Cebu City so that we can provide 8,000 families with inevitable shelter needs. Our response teams are travelling to the areas hardest hit to determine exactly what people need and how we can help them.”

Many individuals from the catholic community in Southwark have already shown their support by donating to the Typhoon Haiyan appeal through the CAFOD website.

Donate now and help us reach people whose lives have been torn apart by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines>

 Thank you so much for the great compassion you have already shown and please continue to pray for all those affected by Typhoon Haiyan. You can download a special prayer here>

Emergency Updates: Philippines

by Jed Murphy, editor of CAFOD Southwark’s Blog and Facebook

Sometimes even large scale tragedies fail to make it onto our television news screens. However, whether large or small, CAFOD responds to Emergencies wherever they are in the world and whenever they happen.

Typhoon Bopha hits Tagum City, southern Philip-pines [Photo: REUTERS/Stringer courtesy of alertnet]

Typhoon Bopha hits Tagum City, southern Philip-pines [Photo: REUTERS/Stringer courtesy of alertnet]

At the beginning of December Typhoon Bopha (known locally as Typhoon Pablo) hit Mindanao island in the Philippines. The island had been hit hard in 2011 by another Typhoon (called Washi) that killed over 1200 people and left many tens of thousands homeless.

Thankfully, Typhoon Bopha has caused less damage – yet some-where in the region of 150,000 people have been forced to leave their homes and around 300 people have died. This year the government and local communities have been better prepared for the typhoon thanks to the work done by CAFOD’s regional partner Ecoweb. Ecoweb has worked with local authorities to improve the way they prepare for natural disasters, supporting the government in setting up an emergency response unit that helps people get to safe areas when disaster strikes.

However, as Dr Kate Crowley, who leads CAFOD’s Disaster Reduction work said:

“Although better early warning sys-tems are in place, typhoons like this one can still cause immense damage. Thousands of people who lost their homes are still living in tents and temporary shelters, and we‟re particularly worried about the impact the typhoon may have had on them.”

Please remember to keep all those affected in your prayers. And if you can, please make a donation to further help our Emergency work around the world.

There are a number of ways to make a donation:

Online, via the CAFOD website: http://www.cafod.org.uk

By telephone: 0500 858 885

By post, with a cheque to: CAFOD, Romero House, 55 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7JB

You can also keep up to date with the news, from the CAFOD website here.