Typhoon response mounted in Philippines

By December 27, 2011

Philippines (BGR/MNN) — More than 1,000 people are dead, and that number is
likely to rise in the wake of a typhoon that slammed the southern Philippines on
December 17.

The government warns that tens of thousands of flood victims could be stuck
in tent cities for up to half a year waiting for the government construct
temporary housing to free up schools that are now serving as refugee camps.

The United Nation is calling for about $US28 million in funding to help
those affected by Typhoon Washi. Southern
Baptists are also mounting a relief effort through Baptist Global Response and
local partners in the Philippines.

"Typhoon Washi brought heavy rains, strong winds, and a large number of
flash floods to the area," said Pat Melancon, BGR's managing director of
disaster response and training. "The government has reported around 10,000
homes damaged or destroyed, and estimates are that 335,000 people have been

In the evacuation centers aid workers were providing food, clothes,
blankets, bottled water and hygiene kits. A lack of running water was still a major concern. Many shelters have
poor sanitation which brings a high risk of waterborne disease.

BGR released funds to meet the immediate needs for food, shelter, and water
and sanitation needs. The initial rapid response also will include assessment
of longer-term response needs in the area.

"Storms regularly occur in the Philippines," Melancon noted. "However,
Typhoon Washi struck the southern part of the country, where these types of
tropical storms are not as frequent and people are not as prepared to deal with
them. BGR has worked in the past with flooding situations in the
Philippines and continues to partner in providing assistance in this event as

BGR was created to help believers become more effective and efficient in
responding to global crises and their partnership allows Christians on the
ground to be the hands and feet of Christ. Catastrophe often opens doors for deeper
spiritual questions, so pray for both Gospel opportunity and wisdom for the


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