|Photo from Save the Children|
When Hurricane Katrina hit the U.S. Gulf Coast in 2005, the storm brought sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. That was enough to rate a Category 3. Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda) made landfall in some of the southern islands of the Philippines with a lethal punch of 195 miles per hour sustained winds. That Category 5 typhoon earned the label of "super typhoon" and also became the most destructive typhoon/hurricane on record.
The toll on human life and property is unimaginable. Unless you are there, or have experienced a hurricane before, the early casualty numbers are probably just a set of statistics. But that should not be a barrier to action. First, we must draw on a sense of solidarity. Pray, and not just for good wishes for the victims and their families. Prayer means solidarity. So before you pray (and after you pray), take time to read about the situation. By doing so, God will give you a space to discern what actions you can take to respond to the situation. Prayer is solidarity. Light a candle as you pray (via Gratefulness.org)
And here is a slide show from The Huffington Post and a a map of the path of the destructive typhoon from The Washington Post.
And here is a small list of a handful of agencies providing relief to The Philippines: (Click on the agency name to access online donation form)
CARE is delivering food, water, shelter and other essentials to the survivors of typhoon Haiyan, which has torn a path across the Philippines. As many as 10,000 people are feared dead while 9.8 million people have suffered the impact of the storm.
Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy. Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online,
Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with its partners, is on the ground helping people meet their most urgent needs, including water purification, shelter materials and essential living supplies.
Episcopal Relief and Development Give to our Disaster Response Fund and help communities get critical assistance after an emergency. #HaiyanTyphoon. Donation right now will go to support people impacted by the Haiyan Typhoon in the Philippines.
Lutheran World Relief Your gifts will be used to respond to the devastation from the typhoon in the Philippines until needs there are met. Gifts received after that time will be used where needs are greatest.
Oxfam aid teams are on the ground in the Philippines and reporting urgent needs of food, clean water, medicine and shelter. Communication lines between some provinces are cut and many areas are experiencing total black outs. Thousands are feared dead, and local emergency food stocks are dwindling.
Save the Children Super Typhoon Haiyan is affecting children and families in the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam. In response, Save the Children is mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families with emergency assistance during this difficult time. We need your generous gift to support our efforts. Your support will help us protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families.
United Methodist Committee on Relief UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for International Disaster Response Rev. Jack Amick and UMCOR Philippines Head of Mission Ciony Eduarte worked together to develop an appropriate and strategic response. UMCOR is making plans to fill the gaps in the disaster-relief delivery network and go where the need is greatest.
Others:The American Red Cross, UNICEF, Doctors without Borders