Nearly one week following Typhoon Durian’s devastating encounter in the Philippines, Christian groups have donated hundreds of thousands and mobilized teams to help survivors of the violent tropical storm.
Relief organizations outside of the Philippines have, in many cases, chosen to support local partners financially in the initial relief phase for Typhoon Durian. U.K.-based Christian Aid has committed an initial $102,000 to provide water and food to the now homeless survivors through its partners. Christian Aid partners COPE and Coastal Core are working in the hardest-hit Albay province, while partners MACEC and MAHAL are providing care to families in Marinduque and Mindoro, respectively.
The violent typhoon swept across central and eastern Philippines on Nov. 30, claiming as many as 1,000 lives, many of which are still buried under mud and boulders from massive mudslides triggered by the heavy rainfall. The typhoon also carried down lava and rocks from Mount Mayon volcano to the villages in Albay province.
"Deadly amounts of lava and mud from Mt. Mayon volcano impacted eight villages in the region, either burying or flooding thousands of houses and engulfing hundreds of individuals," explained Lem Rosellon, a Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)-Philippines staff member, in a report Tuesday.
"It continues to be a terrible and horrible sight as more and more bodies are retrieved,” added Rosellon.
Other groups working with local partners include Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) which pledged $98,000 to support its partner, the National Secretariat for Social Action-Justice and Peace (NASSA), in distributing food, medicine, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, and material to build temporary shelters among other items.
Meanwhile, Catholic Relief Services has committed $500,000 to aid survivors.
The Rev. Paul Dirdak, chief executive of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), is in contact with the United Methodist bishop in the affected region to provide needed support. UMCOR is working with partners in the Philippines to address the immediate needs of survivors.
"We want to assure the churches in the Philippines of our prayers and support," Dirdak said on Tuesday.