Here, There and Everywhere

Posts tagged ‘typhoon’

Super Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan

I’m writing you from the Philippines where I’m managing CARE’s ongoing response to Super Typhoon Haiyan.

Relief Efforts Continue After Typhoon Haiyan's DestructionThe situation we’re dealing with on the ground is unlike any I’ve ever experienced in my 20 plus years as an emergency response specialist.

My team of seasoned veterans and I delivered life-saving aid after the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Haiti earthquake of 2010, and the drought-stricken Horn of Africa in 2011.

haiyan-e4-debrisBut none of those disastrous events were as challenging as this one. The remoteness, flooding and debris everywhere in the affected areas means that simple journeys can take days. The widespread magnitude of the damage means limited to no access by land or air and no lines of communication or electricity up and running.

There are pictures below, but they don’t truly capture the experience on the ground: the smell, the complete destruction in every direction you look, the heavy rain, the continuous exhaustion because there is nowhere for anyone to sleep, debris everywhere. And – worst of all – the desperate look in the eyes of survivors.

They’re hungry and they’ve been hungry for days. The food is just gone, picked clean.

It’s truly awful. We need your help. You can help us put food, shelter, and necessities in the hands of Filipinos and others in need.

Within the next 48 hours, we’ll be distributing food to thousands of families outside of Ormac City. Frankly, it’s frustrating that we can’t get supplies to more survivors more quickly. We plan to help an initial 150,000 storm survivors with the support of donors like you. Food and shelter are our current priorities.

Coordinating the response to Super Typhoon Haiyan has been so much more challenging than Haiti. It’s not even that the weather is horrible or that today’s office/sleeping space lost its roof and flooded out.

Communication during emergency response is critical, but here the electricity is down, the phone lines aren’t working, there is no internet. Thank goodness for our satellite phones.

In Haiti, communication was back up very quickly. And the earthquake was in a small area, so once the rubble was cleared, it was easy to drive and deliver aid. We could get everywhere affected in two or three hours. The airport was up and functioning quickly, so supplies could be brought by air, or road from the Dominican Republic.

Here in the Philippines, the disaster is spread over several islands. It takes days to get to places – not only for relief items, but for staff. You have to take a boat, and then a car, and the road hasn’t been cleared. The government and international community are working to clear the roads and open the airport, but it is taking time.

Once it does, we know what we need to do to help. I only hope you’ll be there during this critical time to support our response. Donate to CARE right away to help with disaster relief efforts in the Philippines and other places impacted by crisis and poverty.

Sincerely,

David Gazashvili
CARE Emergency Team Leader

One of Largest Typhoons Ever

One of Largest Typhoons Ever

Residents rush to safety past a fallen tree during strong winds brought by Typhoon Haiyan that hit Cebu cityLess than 3 days ago, one of the largest typhoons ever recorded ripped through the Philippines.

Sustained winds measured 195 mph, gusts as high as 235 mph. Initial images show trees uprooted like toothpicks. Buildings demolished. Homes washed away by a torrential storm surge.

A child stands little chance against this kind of storm. There are reports of 1,000 deaths in a single coastal town. Up to 1.7 million children are believed to be living in the areas that were hit.

UNICEF is rushing staff, relief and resources to the region. “…We know how vital it is to reach children quickly,” says UNICEF’s Philippines representative Tomoo Hozumi.

You can help this effort by donating to UNICEF’s EMERGENCY response. Every donation will go directly to relief efforts there.

Just three weeks ago, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the islands in the very same region. Tens of thousands of children were left homeless and living out in the open in make-shift tents.

Super Typhoon Haiyan couldn’t have come at a worse moment.

For children who have survived, clean water is a matter of life and death. Safe drinking water can be impossible to find after such a massive natural disaster. And without it, a child will drink whatever water she can find, no matter how dirty or diseased. That drink can quickly lead to diarrhea, disease and death.

UNICEF’s first priorities are to make sure every child has access to clean drinking water, essential medicines and emergency nutritional supplements. Even without a full assessment, we know tens of thousands of children are in grave danger.

Every moment matters for these children.

Please donate to UNICEF’s EMERGENCY response in the Philippines. Any donation will make a huge difference. Right now, UNICEF’s resources are stretched thin by three major crises in the country in just two months.

The last few months have been heartbreaking for children in Syria and now the Philippines. You’ve done so much already, but this is urgent and children’s lives are on the line, so I’m asking for your support again.

Thank you for your compassion, your selflessness, your generosity in the face of such a heartbreaking crisis.

With gratitude,

Caryl M. Stern
President & CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

When Catastrophe Strikes

Dear Gabriel,

CARE-EOY-2012-COB1When a typhoon hits, we’re there.

We are there when a drought causes crops to fail, leaving families desperate for just one meal a day.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding: we can’t predict when they’ll come, but we can predict that we’ll be there, responding to the most urgent needs. We will stay for as long as it takes.

Even with all our trained and dedicated staff on the ground, none of our work is possible without the support of people like you.

Your gift will help girls, boys, and families living in poor communities during emergencies by providing tools and resources to help them rebuild their lives. Your help is especially crucial now: if you make a donation before December 31st, your gift will be matched, up to $1 million.

Will you help by making a gift to support families in need? Every dollar you give will help us reach our goal of $1 million before December 31st.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke recently about suffering around the world – and what gives him the strength to keep going. He said, “When I travel, I make it a point to go where people are suffering. I have spoken to families who lost everything, women who have been raped, children who have been orphaned. It would be easy to lose hope.

“But I was amid people who show extraordinary courage in the face of their suffering. I am especially inspired by the field workers like your CARE staff, who dedicate their lives to helping others. The United Nations can never succeed without such a strong partner like CARE.

“Let us work together to do everything we can to empower girls. I’m confident when we empower them, they will change our world. Change our world for the better.”

As a CARE supporter, I know that you share Ban Ki-moon’s passionate beliefs. Please help us continue to help send girls to school, empower women facing gender-based violence, and build communities where families have lost their homes due to disaster. We cannot do it without you, Gabriel.

Work with us for a better world in 2013. Any help you can provide is truly appreciated. Please make a tax-deductible gift today, and it will be matched up to $1 million.

Thank you so much for your dedication and hard work.

Sincerely,

Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

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