The Immediate Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

The Immediate Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

Posted
2/24/14

What Happened? 
The destruction caused as Typhoon Haiyan tore a path across the central Philippines on November 7 and 8 is catastrophic. The super storm brought heavy rains, tsunami-like storm surges and tornado-force winds as it battered the island nation. The typhoon is one of the worst on record and it will need a massive response.

CARE is there to provide food, shelter and other lifesaving essentials to survivors of the storm, which affected up to 15 million people, displaced more than 4 million and killed in excess of 6,000 men, women and children.

At least 1.1 million homes have been damaged, almost half of them totally. While people are rebuilding as much as possible, many are still sleeping in the wreckage as periodic, heavy rain adds to their misery. The typhoon's destruction was so widespread that it hindered relief from reaching those desperate for food, water and medicine - but access continues to improve every day, with main roads now restored in most areas.

"Pictures don't truly capture the experience on the ground: the smell, the complete destruction in every direction you look, the heavy rain, the continuous exhaustion because there is nowhere for anyone to sleep, debris everywhere," said CARE Emergency Team Leader David Gazashvili upon arriving in the Philippines a a few days after the storm hit. "And – worst of all – the desperate look in the eyes of survivors."

The UN estimates 5.6 million people have had their livelihoods and income sources destroyed, lost or disrupted. Moreover, the typhoon destroyed one-third of the Philippines' rice-growing areas and 74 percent of fishing communities indicate their main source of income has been severely affected.

“The road to recovery for families devastated by Typhoon Haiyan will be a long one,” Lex Kassenberg, CARE country director in the Philippines, said. “Beyond our immediate focus on providing urgently needed shelter materials and food, CARE is working with local authorities to plan programs that will help people return to work and earn an income as soon as possible. This will be critical in reviving the local economy and helping people get back on their feet.”

Our history in the Philippines
CARE has a long history in the Philippines that stretches back to 1949, when we distributed CARE Packages in response to desperate conditions following World War II. More recently, we've helped communities prepare for disasters and provided emergency relief when disaster strikes. We were there in 2009 when typhoon Ketsana hit and again in 2012 when typhoon Bopha ripped through the country.

Media contacts
Nicole Harris, CARE USA, +1.404.735.0871, nharris@care.org
Laura Sheahen, CARE USA, +1.404.667.8299, lsheahen@care.org 

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A man stands in the ruins of his home. CARE is distributing shelter repair kits and providing assistance to help communities rebuild. © 2014 CARE

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Tagged: 
Philippines
Emergency
Disaster Preparedness
Typhoon Haiyan