News / Asia

Philippines Relief Efforts Gain Momentum

Survivors of typhoon Haiyan rush to grab fresh water delivered by a U.S. military helicopter to their isolated village north of Tacloban, Nov. 17, 2013.
Survivors of typhoon Haiyan rush to grab fresh water delivered by a U.S. military helicopter to their isolated village north of Tacloban, Nov. 17, 2013.
VOA News
Survivors of the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines more than a week ago flocked to ruined churches Sunday as the pace of international aid gained momentum.

Sunday services were a time of reflection for millions of Filipinos - many of them homeless - in a country where 80 percent of the population is Roman Catholic.

President Benigno Aquino called for patience and understanding as he toured some of the worst-hit areas in the central part of the country on Sunday.

Meanwhile, aid from various countries, including the United States is finding its way to more and more devastated communities.  However, many remote areas badly in need of water and food have yet to be reached.

  • Typhoon survivors board a Philippine Air Force transport plane in Tacloban, Nov. 21, 2013.
  • A Philippine man carries aid from a U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter in Palo, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013.
  • U.S. sailors and Marines load supplies onto a helicopter to be delivered in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. military personnel carry supplies to be distributed in Eastern Sumar Province, Philippines, Nov. 20, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. sailors work with Philippine armed forces members to transport relief supplies in Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A member of the U.S. Navy hugs a child during a visit to Philippine Army base Camp Downes in support of Operation Damayan, Nov. 18, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • A Seahawk helicopter transports international relief supplies in support of Operation Damayan, Ormoc City, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • U.S. sailors and Marines work with Philippine civilians to unload relief supplies in Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Villagers scramble for aid from a U.S. Navy helicopter in the coastal town of Tanawan, Philippines, Nov. 17. 2013.
  • A soldier carries a baby to board a U.S. military transport plane at the damaged Tacloban airport, Tacloban city, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013.
  • A U.S. hospital corpsman assists Philippine nurses in treating a patient's head wound at the Immaculate Conception School refugee camp, Guiuan, Philippines, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)
  • Philippine citizens board an U.S. HC-130 Hercules to be airlifted to safety in support of Operation Damayan, Guiuan, Nov. 17, 2013. (U.S. Navy)

Typhoon Haiyan, which hit early on November 8, killed more than 3,600 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless. The death toll is expected to rise as many people are missing.

The first British air force aid flight arrived in Cebu on Saturday. The northern part of the island took a direct hit from Typhoon Haiyan.

Also, the head of the European Community Humanitarian office, Kristalina Georgieva, says aid from the European Union will exceed $25 million.  

On Friday, helicopters from the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington began flying food, water and medical supplies to remote villages.

Meanwhile, Filipino-Americans are among those who have responded generously to appeals for help.

In a VOA interview, Philippines immigrant Teresa Descalzota said her five siblings in Iloilo province were struggling in the storm's aftermath. Descalzota is taking part in a relief effort at a Washington church to gather food and clothing for survivors.

While food and water are now available to many Filipinos in the central part of the country, hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions of others are still homeless and without water, food and power, having received little or no assistance.

The flow of relief supplies has been hampered by wrecked roadways and gasoline shortages.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Keen from: Philippines
November 18, 2013 10:58 AM
First the earthquake and now the super typhoon devastated the Philippines not only geographically but spiritually as well...A lot of lives had been lost and people's morale and faith were crushed yet I still believe that my nation will survive and continue to live...This is just how it works in the Philippines even if we experienced and will experience the worst of the worst...

by: Donbest Chukwu from: Anambra, Nigeria
November 17, 2013 9:04 AM
I feel sorry for the Survivors and for those that lost their lives. May God in his mercy help Philippines recover quickly.

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