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Hurricane Haiyan

Situation Report Update from Grace Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Philippines Typhoon Haiyan


Typhoon Haiyan left monumental devastation when it struck the central Philippines November 8, 2013. The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, has been identified as one of the worst recorded typhoons in history.  A CNN report states that Haiyan was stronger than both Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy combined.

At least 1,200 people have died, according to the Philippine Red Cross; but unconfirmed sources estimate more than 10,000 deaths.  Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

Most impacted

Local sources and international news agencies report severe destruction with damaged roads and buildings, downed power lines and telecommunications, and flooded villages.

The damage to airports and roads is hampering initial relief efforts. A report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that roundtrip travel on the only cleared road which connects the airport to the city currently takes about six hours.

Hardest hit is the central Philippine city of Tacloban, which is said to be flattened and where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, but cities and towns in other parts of the Philippines are also facing huge losses. The areas hit cover already poverty-stricken communities, which have suffered from successive and simultaneous emergencies.

 Information from PC(USA)

(updated information from World Mission, afternoon Nov 11, 2013):
We have received reports reports from all our PC(USA) mission co-workers that they, as well as current Young Adult Volunteers, are all safe.  Mission coworkers in the Philippines are Cobbie & Dessa Palm, Rebecca Lawson, Paul Matheny & Mary Nebelsick and their daughter Rachel, Duncan Kirk (YAV), Abby Kraft (YAV), Shelby Miller (YAV), and Mallory Tober (YAV).  Please be in prayer for the mission workers in the coming days.

Former moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow is in Dumaguete, at the invitation of World Mission, teaching for a month at Silliman Divinity School.  He was staying with Cobbie and Dessa when the typhoon hit and is also safe.

PDA Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is working in collaboration with our mission partner, the National Council of Churches Philippines (NCCP), and other members of ACT Alliance to respond to this crisis. Initial response also includes the provision of non-food items, material resources, drinking water, emergency shelter kits and cash-for-work-programs.

A major humanitarian operation by our partners is anticipated.  Coordination of the relief effort is necessary as many operations are currently in place from many different agencies.

PDA will respond with One Great Hour of Sharing and designated funds as the assessment is complete, needs are identified, and the appeal for assistance is issued.

How you can Help

You can stand in the GAP for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan:

Give.  Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000012-Philippines.  Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.  You can also text ‘PDA’ to 20222 to donate $10 for disaster response.

Act.  Sign up to receive PDA RIN (Rapid Information Network) emails to be aware of current responses and urgent needs you can share with your congregation.

Pray.  Please pray that through the response of the faith community, the people and communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan and those offering assistance will be strengthened, have their needs met, and be reminded of the hope and compassion that are found  in Christ.


Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Who we are

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is the emergency and refugee program of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. The core budget, including staff and administrative costs, is funded through the One Great Hour of Sharing, and its program work is additionally funded through designated gifts.

¨ Focuses on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities.

¨ Provides training and disaster preparedness for presbyteries and synods.

¨ Works collaboratively with church partners and members of the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) internationally, and nationally with other faith based responders.

¨ Connects partners locally and internationally with key organizations active in the response — United Nations, NVOAD (National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster), World Food Program, Red Cross, FEMA and others.

¨ Manages a number of specialized volunteer teams to work nationally and internationally providing consultation, program design and training.

¨ Cooperates with Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services in providing service structure for asylum seekers in the United States.

¨ Cooperates with Church World Service in the resettlement of refugees to the United States.