Central Philippines: We are truly praising God for His protection of the Philippines from Typhoon Hagupit. In these immediate days following the typhoon, Nazarene Disaster Response (a coordinated response arm of the local churches and districts) is conducting Rapid Assessments and moving forward with response strategy.
Philippine Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator, Stephen Gualberto, provides the following update:
Eastern Visayas District
The hardest hit was the Eastern Samar and Northern Samar provinces. We have more than 10 churches in these provinces.
- The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that more than 43,000 families affected in Eastern Samar and more than 27,000 families in Northern Samar. We have more than 1,000 Nazarenes in these provinces.
Borongan City in Eastern Samar, is heavily affected. We have three churches. The Borongan Church of the Nazarene and her two daughter churches. Borongan church suffered heavy structural damage.
Food packs and other emergency relief are now on the way to Northern Samar. We have two churches there that also suffered heavy damage.
- Emergency Relief is also on its way to Eastern Samar. We are sending food, tarps and water filters that were prepositioned at the NDR office and warehouse in Tacloban City.
- Trained Disaster Response volunteers are now getting ready to fly to Samar island via Cebu and Tacloban to help our small NDR Team in Eastern Visayas . This new team is composed of logistics personnel who will also serve as the team leader for Eastern Visayas Response; Water Sanitation and Hygiene and Nutrition Coordinator; Media to cover the response; and Person to be in charge of Psychosocial First Aid (Trauma Debriefing) for Children. They will be working with the District Superintendent of the Eastern Visayas District and pastors in the affected areas.
- Full Assessment is still going on in collaboration with Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
- NDR is working together with its partners on the ground in the relief efforts.
- Tacloban and Ormoc in Leyte, which was hardest hit during Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, also sustained some damage, but the damage is manageable. The city government is on top of this. But Typhoon Hagupit has disrupted the ongoing recovery efforts in these areas.
Central Visayas District
- Supplies such as Crisis Care Kits and tarps are now on their way to Northern Cebu. The same place that was affected by Typhoon Haiyan. We do not have a church there yet but we established relationships with the communities during our Typhoon Haiyan response. The Central Visayas District headed by DS Nilo Rosende is taking the lead in the response together with other churches and students from the Visayan Nazarene Bible College.
Bicol District (south of Luzon island)
- No significant damage to churches and houses of members, and things are manageable there as reported by the District Superintendent. We have prepositioned some emergency supplies there a month prior to the onslaught of Typhoon Hagupit.
- Legaspi Church of the Nazarene also packed emergency food packs prior to the landfall of Typhoon Hagupit. Thus, they are ready to respond to other churches and communities in need of emergency food packs.
Panay District (in the Visayas area)
- Nazarene Disaster Response stationed in Panay and helping in the rehabilitation of areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan are preparing emergency relief to be sent to affected churches and communities in the islands of Gigantes and Lilongot, and churches in the mountains. Because of their distance, help of local government don’t reach them, thus, they are least served.
- Food pack, tarps, medicines and solar lamps will be delivered to these churches.
Please continue to pray for the local churches, families, districts, and responders who are reaching out to their communities.