Philippines (OMI) — An earthquake of 7.2 magnitude hit Cebu on October 15, where the Operation Mobilization Philippines-Cebu Ministries team is based.
The epicenter of the earthquake was in neighboring Bohol Island, but most of the casualties are from Cebu. To date, 158 people have been pronounced dead and still more are missing.
Having recently concluded a workshop conducted by Wesley Relief Society from Singapore on church response to disaster and crisis, OM team members immediately contacted two participants from Bohol to survey the extent of damage in the area.
"Our people were some of the first to respond [to the crisis]," says Sally Ababa, team leader of OM Philippines-Cebu Ministries. "The ID card we issued [the participants] during our crisis relief training proved to be helpful as they used it to get permission to go into places no one has gone yet. They mobilized different ministerial and pastoral associations in the area and were able to get hold of village officials and other government units. The greatest need at the moment is water, food, medicine, and temporary shelter."
Under the leadership of OM worker Gerry Rizon from OM Philippines-Cebu Ministries and Pastor Jun Tubo of Ubay Bohol, the Bohol Crisis Response Team left last week to provide water and food in four areas of Bohol: Sagbayan, Loon, Clarin, and Bali-lihan. As food supplies on Bohol Island are running out, goods will be sourced elsewhere.
Time is of essence now. The team appreciates your fervent prayers.