News / Asia

US Groups Launch Relief Efforts to Help Philippine Storm Victims

  • An aerial image taken from a Philippine Air Force helicopter shows the devastation of the first landfall by typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, Eastern Samar province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Survivors fill the streets as they line up to get supplies in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • A survivor writes a call for help, Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 11, 2013.
  • Survivors pass by two large boats that were washed ashore by strong waves caused by Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban city, Leyte province, central Philippines, Nov. 10, 2013.
  • A resident walks by remains of houses after powerful Typhoon Haiyan slammed into Tacloban city, Leyte province central Philippines on Nov. 9, 2013
  • Survivors assess the damage after super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city, central Philippines, Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Tacloban Airport is covered by debris after powerful Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province in central Philippines, Nov. 9, 2013.
  • Residents go on their daily business Nov. 9, 2013, following a powerful typhoon that hit Tacloban city, in Leyte province, central Philippines.
  • A fisherman carries his net after making it safely back to shore in the fishing village after a strong winds from Typhoon Haiyan battered Bayog town in Los Banos, Laguna city, south of Manila, Nov. 8, 2013. 
  • A man walks past a tree uprooted by strong winds brought by super Typhoon Haiyan that hit Cebu city, central Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013. 
  • A mother takes refuge with her children as Typhoon Haiyan hits Cebu city, central Philippines, Nov. 8, 2013.
Typhoon Haiyan Pounds Central Philippines
Pamela Dockins
Relief efforts are being mobilized in the United States to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful storms to ever batter the Philippines. The storm slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, perhaps causing scores of deaths [according to preliminary estimations] and widespread damage. Government and non-government organizations in the U.S. are reaching out to help those affected.

Rain battered Cebu Island as Typhoon Haiyan roared ashore. As it moved inland, it left behind shattered homes and washed-out roads.

The storm is known in the Philippines as Yolanda. It left many communities with no power and no communications.

As a result, Jose Cuisia, Jr., the Philippines ambassador to the United States, said the full extent of damage is not yet known.

"It is too early to tell what exactly we will need, but definitely after the relief operations there is going to be a lot of work in terms of reconstruction and rehabilitation, particularly for people who have lost their homes," he said.

A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province, Nov. 8, 2013.A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province, Nov. 8, 2013.
A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province, Nov. 8, 2013.
A house is engulfed by the storm surge brought about by powerful typhoon Haiyan that hit Legazpi city, Albay province, Nov. 8, 2013.
Cuisia said he is appealing to Philippine-American community to help those affected.

He also said the U.S.State Department has offered to provide assistance, and the U.S. military has offered to provide aircraft and experienced personnel.

The ambassador said in previous storms, diseases spread by standing water have been a big problem. He said private organizations have donated medicine to help with these ailments.

"We have to make sure that particularly in places where there are floods the people avoid being contaminated by these contaminated waters, and making sure that we have all of the proper medications for these people should they be exposed to these contaminated waters," he said.

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations is holding a series of community events to raise money for victims, including a concert in Alexandria, Virginia, near Washington.

Communications Director Jon Melegrito said many of the group's members have been trying to reach relatives in the affected regions. “There is a tremendous amount of concern about the damage and the dislocation and the broken lives and the deaths. So, we are constantly in a state of vigil, just monitoring what is happening.”

Melegrito said the Philippines is facing a long-term recovery effort but hopes his group's donations will provide some immediate relief. “We hope that we can rise to the level where our generosity will at least come close to alleviating some of the suffering that they are going through right now.”

Meanwhile, storm preparations are underway in Vietnam, which soon could feel Typhoon Haiyan wrath [expected landfall around 1800 UTC on Saturday].

The Vietnamese Embassy in Washington says the government has begun storm preparations, which include evacuation plans and fortifying dikes and dams.

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Comment Sorting
by: Christina from: Kentucky
November 12, 2013 10:51 AM
Same here! I'm trying to find info on going to help. My husband and I would both really like to be helpful in any possible way.

by: Kristi from: Las Vegas NV
November 12, 2013 1:12 AM
I too would like to know how I can go to Philippines to volunteer my time on anything that I can help. Packing relief goods, handing reluef goods, help in cleaning areas or even taking care of the children that are sick. Anything that can help our fellow Filipinos. If anybody knows any company who will be willing to help by sending volunteer workers there please let me know.
In Response

by: joann from: memphis
November 13, 2013 4:07 PM
please pass on any information you find out I so want to go helpand have no idea how to go about it nav medic for 20 years I want to help.

by: Roymelendez from: Meriden ct
November 10, 2013 6:42 PM
How can I go to the Philippines to help.. my heart goes out to the people in the Philippines. I'm a guy that knows a little bit of everything at home improvement. I know I could be a big help
In Response

by: John from: Indianola
November 12, 2013 12:40 AM
The most efficient way you can help is motivate everyone you know to donate to charities that are already on the ground in the Phillippines, to help them bring in drinking water, food, and shelter. Longer term there will be good opportunities for you to pay your own way to the Phillippines as a volunteer.

by: Walla Harvell from: Montgomery, Alabama
November 09, 2013 10:08 PM
How can I get involved and actually go to the Philippines to help in the recovery effort?
In Response

by: Jeremy Vigil from: Hesperia, Ca
November 10, 2013 8:00 PM
i would also like to help.
In Response

by: Jeralyn from: Nj
November 10, 2013 5:05 PM
ur such a Good Samaritan
In Response

by: Derek Chitwood, PhD from: China
November 10, 2013 5:22 AM
Contact Baptist Global Response. They have helped us a ton of times when we have responded to earthquakes here. Their URL is:

by: Phil Woolley
November 09, 2013 4:36 PM
There's a #RescuePH shirt that's pretty sweet. Almost all of the proceeds go to the Red Cross in the Philippines. I think it'd be good to help raise awareness because (sadly) there are still people that didn't even know it happened.

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