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Thursday, November 14, 2013

The storm is gone but the suffering remains


Survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, a massive storm that tore through nine regions of the Philippines last Friday, continue to struggle.

The death toll has risen to more than 3,600 people and fears remain that thousands more, in areas where the devastation has not yet been fully documented, could have perished.

The number of injured has climbed above 12,000. In all, more than 9 million people are affected, and nearly 1.9 million have been displaced.

First-hand reports, from a HOPE International Development Agency colleague who was on the ground in the Cebu and Bohol this week, speak of the terrible destruction and personal devastation, especially in some of the more isolated communities throughout Cebu.

In parts of northern Cebu, the destruction defies imagination - in some of the areas visited, nearly 95% of the homes have been obliterated.

In Bohol, an area where we are helping thousands of families recover from a massive earthquake just 3 weeks ago, Typhoon Haiyan struck with high winds and torrential rains that caused additional damage and suffering - thousands of families remain in a state of shock and disbelief.

Along one 50km section of battered road, survivors stood by the roadside, holding up makeshift signs, pleading for help.

One Philippine official stated that “this is not devastation, it is obliteration,” when speaking with our colleague.

HOPE International Development Agency is continuing with its efforts to provide food, water, shelter and other urgently needed items to survivors as they struggle in the aftermath of the super storm.

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