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Press Release (14 November 2013)
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The Salvation Army in the Philippines Ready to Head to Typhoon Disaster Site

The Salvation Army in The Philippines is ready to assist the many thousands of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan. 54 tons of food – rice and canned goods – have already been prepared for distribution in 18-kilogram packages. Transportation is a huge challenge but The Salvation Army is in a priority queue for government approval for its goods to be transported to the region in and around the city of Tacloban.

On Leyte, the island that bore the brunt of the typhoon, there is no power and only very poor, intermittent cell phone capability, meaning that it is very difficult to get a clear picture of what is happening on the ground.

The little contact that has been made has highlighted the scarcity of food and drinking water – and these are areas of ongoing concern. Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army in The Phillippines, Colonel Wayne Maxwell explains: “Salvation Army corps in the areas most affected – such as Leyte and the Visayas Islands – have fully distributed all available food from their welfare supplies and are keenly awaiting the arrival of food, water and medicine.”

In some areas that have suffered damage but not received media coverage, Salvation Army personnel are already helping people who have lost homes and possessions.

Salvation Army International Emergency Services has sent a staff member from London who will be working in partnership with local personnel to assess the needs.

Colonel Maxwell says that mobile communication is a major issue – and unlikely to get better soon. The colonel says there is an urgent need for satellite phones that can be used by teams across the region – helping in the assessment of the situation and also improving the security of Salvation Army disaster relief personnel. International Headquarters is arranging for two phones to be bought and couriered to The Philippines immediately, but this will only deal with the most urgent need. The territory is also looking to source generators that can be taken to the worst-hit areas, with reports forecasting that power in some locations may not be restored for a year.

The colonel says he and the Salvationists of The Philippines are hugely grateful for the strong support they have received from the people of Hong Kong. He encourages prayer support for all those who have been devastated by this calamity.

The Salvation Army calls for the support of the people of Hong Kong. The donations of Hong Kong people will help The Salvation Army to provide immediate relief to the victims of the Philippines typhoon disaster.

 

 

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