Great Need After Haiyan

Standing water is seen in the altar area Nov. 20 of the roofless St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in the coastal Philippine town of Balangig,a devastated by super typhoon Haiyan (CNS photo/Nathan Layne, Reuters)

Weeks after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the central Philippines, Catholic aid workers were continuing their emergency response. “The needs are basically huge,” said Sandra Harlass, an emergency relief coordinator for Malteser International, after returning to Manila from communities across the strait from the worst-hit city of Tacloban. “Ninety percent of the houses are destroyed...most were just washed away from the storm surge.” She said, “Together with the houses, of course, all the food supplies were washed away, all the nonfood items, like blankets, mosquito nets, everything is just gone.” The team of emergency relief assessors found people who had very little to eat nine days after the storm struck. A 15-foot storm surge struck Tacloban after the typhoon on Nov. 8, creating a tsunami-like effect that swallowed up people in its fast-rising floods and left bodies strewn about in its wake. The area suffered most of the more than 5,200 deaths recorded so far.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.


Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The Most Rev Bishop Michael Curry, primate of the Episcopal Church, speaks during the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in Windsor, near London, England, Saturday, May 19, 2018. (Owen Humphreys/pool photo via AP)
Fabricated and impersonal, too many Catholic preachers hide themselves, forgetting that personality matters in preaching,
In this image made from video, Archbishop Philip Wilson, center, heads to Newcastle Local Court, north of Sydney, Australia Tuesday, May 22, 2018. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
Philip Wilson was found guilty of failing to inform police about allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by a priest in the 1970s.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
The Holy Spirit might be the forgotten person of the Holy Trinity.
James Martin, S.J.May 21, 2018
Pope Francis walks past cardinals as he leaves a consistory in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican June 28, 2017. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis is trying to ensure that those who elect his successor are humble men committed to “a church of the poor and for the poor.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 21, 2018