After writing on Monday about people in Kitsap’s Fil-Am community worried about friends and family in the typhoon ravaged Philippines, I got an update from Don Biadog, a Navy chaplain with Kitsap roots.
Communication with those caught in the path of Supertyphoon Haiyan (known as Yolanda in the Philippines) has been difficult due to lack of electricity. More than half a million were displaced by the storm, and rescue efforts have been hampered by the extent of the devastation, as well as logistical challenges of the country, made up of islands. See the bottom of this post, where I’ve pasted information on locating people and on providing aid.
Biadog, back in Kitsap for a visit, is from the island of Negros west of Leyte, the area hardest hit by Haiyan/ Yolanda. He has family on Negros, who were OK, though their house was damaged. On Tuesday, he heard from some missionary friends on the west side of Negros (the north part of the island, where his family, lives was more heavily damaged than the south).
“Good morning. Thank you all for your prayers!” wrote his friend Linda Moore. “To answer questions: We are fine. All Am. BMA Missionaries in the Phil. are fine. No major damage to any of us.”
Moore said her house was not damaged and the area where she lives in general was “relatively unscathed.”
“Trees and limbs across power lines, fallen power posts, and intermittent power is the worst of our problems,” she said.
Moore said the group’s Filipino coordinator is stuck on Leyte, which he told Moore is “totally devastated.”
“There are many areas as yet unreached and unheard from!” the man on Leyte told Moore. “No power, no phones, no cell towers, no gasoline (the tidal surge ruined all the gasoline storage and ground-tanks), no transportation, no food or water. No medicine. No money, because banks are closed – if they are still standing! Pray for them. Worse than Katrina!!”
“It breaks my heart that the people of Leyte and other devastated areas are without shelter, food, water, or anything,” Moore wrote. “There is an American aircraft carrier on the way from Hong Kong, going there with helicopters able to get into areas away from the city, where they can take food and aid.
“Think the Katrina, but imagine that most of the houses are made of bamboo and nipa grass (thatch), and contain more than 10 people per house, and each house is built up against the next!
“People were evacuated in many areas, but generally they do like the folks on the coast used to do, “Oh, we’ve rode out storms before, we will be fine!” But this one was the worst of the worst!
“Pray for us that we will be able to help in some small ways, and for them, that others will help them as well! Love you folks. God bless you for keeping us and our people In your prayers!”
To get help and give help …
Contact Nartea at 360-473-7859.
TO HELP AND GET HELP
— The Philippine Red Cross has deployed assessment and rescue teams to areas hardest hit by the typhoon. For information on tracing relatives through the PRC, visit the organization’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/phredcross, and see the post made Sunday. Or visit Google’s “Typhoon Yolanda” person finder at google.org/personfinder/2013-yolanda. Donations to the Philippine Red Cross can be made online at www.redcross.org.ph/donatenow.
— The Archdiocese of Seattle is coordinating relief efforts through Catholic Relief Services, the official overseas development and relief agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Send donations for CRS to the Archdiocese of Seattle Missions Office, 710 Ninth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104; call 877-435-7277 or donate online at www.crs.org. Make checks payable to CRS (note “Haiyan typhoon”).
— In Kitsap County, Pacific Northwest Ilocandia Association President Rudy Nartea is open to holding fundraisers to benefit people in the Philippines in coordination with other local groups.