On 8 November 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, ravaging several central islands and burying people under tonnes of debris. The Salvation Army personnel in the Philippines prepared to distribute the survivors with emergency supplies.

On 29 November, The Salvation Army’s typhoon response in The Philippines continues to provide assistance to an increasing number of people. The relief effort in Tacloban is growing now that three truckloads of emergency supplies have arrived. Assessments from other affected areas will almost certainly lead to the recovery efforts spreading well beyond Leyte Island.

So far, almost 1,000 family packs containing food, water and other essentials have been distributed to communities in and around Tacloban, including a total of 50 packs which were given to a girls’ home and a boys’ home. A further 610 packs will be passed on to registered family groups in the Lower Nula Tula area today, with 440 ready to be distributed in two locations in Samar tomorrow.

The medical team, consisting of Salvation Army personnel and medical professionals from the USA, has now identified an area for ongoing work to 4,300 families in an area called Dulag. The team will visit a different “barangay” (the Filipino word for a small administrative district) each day and repeat the schedule next week. International Emergency Services field officer Damaris Frick says she plans to accompany the team tomorrow to assess further needs in the area.
Even in its first few days of collaboration, with the focus mainly on assessment, the medical team has already assisted 140 people.

The ministry to people waiting to evacuate Tacloban from the airport has now stopped because the military is no longer offering free transport for people wanting to leave, but more than 10,000 people have been given snacks, water and emotional support at the airport in a project that began only a few days after the typhoon struck.

Further assessments are taking place in Antique – on the island of Panay and around the city of Cebu, where many homes were destroyed by the typhoon. Local Salvationists are being assisted by experienced International Emergency Services representatives Major Drew Ruthven, from Australia, and Matthew Beatty, from the USA.

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