Photo from The Guardian. Survivors search for relatives, dead or alive.
On Friday, the most powerful typhoon ever to make landfall hit the Philippines, and now the official death toll is up to 1,744, according to the local government. That number, and the number of injured people (2,487) is expected to rise dramatically as the damage is assessed and more people are found. Over 660,000 people have been displaced, as the 20-foot waves and 147-mph winds hit Tacloban, the largest city in the Leyte province of the Philippines. But that wasn’t the only city the typhoon hit. An estimated 9.7 million in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon. Tacloban in particular was absolutely destroyed. U.S. Marine Brig. Gen. Paul Kennedy, after surveying the disaster zone, said, “I don’t believe there is a single structure that is not destroyed or severely damaged in some way – every single building, every single house.”
Displaced locals are living on the streets, sleeping in the mud, because their houses have been flattened. Those who still have houses are plagued by the unbearable stench of dead bodies in their yard. Left behind family members want to bury their dead but there is no one to help them move their loved ones and nowhere to bury them. Thousands, even millions of people are without food and other essentials. The devestation has caused people to resort to theivery just to feed their children. The good news is that the rest of the world is ready and willing to help put these people back together and give them a life again. Here are three links where you can find out how to help: