Communication and transportation remain a challenge in reaching affected areas.
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in the Philippines has dispatched teams to several provinces affected by Typhoon Rai to conduct a rapid assessment and to support communities distressed by the most powerful typhoon of 2021.
Typhoon Rai left massive destruction behind and displaced more than 1.8 million individuals who are uncertain about where to get resources to help them stay alive in the aftermath of the disaster.
A few days after Typhoon Rai ravaged major cities in the central and southern parts of the Philippines, the death toll and assessed damage to public and private properties continued to rise. As of December 27, the Philippine National Police reported that the typhoon had claimed 389 lives, 1,146 were hurt, and 65 were reported missing.
Rai’s aftermath left communication and transportation disabled in many areas, making assessment and relief operations more difficult.
ADRA Philippines, together with Adventist Community Services and Hope Channel Northeastern Mindanao Mission, interviewed more than 800 families in Surigao City to identify the basic resources needed and report accurate assessments of the victims displaced by the typhoon. Families expressed their drastic need for food, clean water, hygiene products, shelter repair, and medicine. Initially, ADRA was able to distribute assistance to more than 850 families in Surigao City.
Electricity and communication are still out, while road-clearing operations in major roads are being conducted so workers and volunteers can find a way to reach their respective areas of assignment.
ADRA teams are now in the cities of Butuan and Cebu. Designated teams are coordinating with local governments to provide the best possible assistance to affected families and individuals.
On the ADRA Philippines Facebook page, Tom Pignon, ADRA Philippines country director, appealed on behalf of those significantly impacted by this calamity to stay united and keep a strong will in overcoming this unprecedented disaster.
“The support of individuals, groups, and churches will enable us to help thousands more,” Pignon said. “Lives have been torn apart by this devastating typhoon. As the Adventist Church responds to this disaster, let us remember that we are stronger together. Together we can do so much more to help those who are affected,” he said.
The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.