Typhoon Haiyan: Islands Suffer Severe Damage, CRS Responds

November 11, 2013 by

Residents walk on a road littered with debris after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines. Photo by Reuters/Erik de Castro, courtesy Trust.org Residents walk on a road littered with debris after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban city in central Philippines. Photo by Reuters/Erik de Castro, courtesy Trust.org

By John Lindner
Updated at Noon, 
November 11, 2013


  • 18,000 tarpaulins have been procured. The first 1,100 tarps and emergency water and sanitation supplies will arrive tomorrow via airlift to Cebu City.
  • Tropical Depression Zoraida is tracking towards north-eastern Mindanao and central Visayas and will bring heavy rains from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning in the Visayas in areas that were hit by TY Haiyan.
  • World Food Program is setting up support for warehousing and customs clearance at air and seaports, while the US Department of Defense is providing additional large and small aircraft for the delivery of personnel and relief goods.
  • The first wave of CRS staff from the HRD and ESA country program offices arriving tonight and tomorrow.
  • 3.6 million people are located within 50 km of the direct path.
  • It is anticipated that Tacloban airport will open to limited commercial flights one week from today.

Catholic Relief Services, our partners and other aid agencies are in the process of mobilizing resources to help the government and the most affected areas. The typhoon was powerful and expansive, hitting a number of islands. It did not weaken as it passed through and hit a number of islands as a super typhoon. Based on other typhoons, like Typhoon Bopha last year, we can expect that this was a catastrophic typhoon, not only for one island but many. – Joe Curry, CRS Philippines country representative

CRS Teams Arrive in Leyte

Catholic Relief Services teams arrived at the port in Ormoc (Leyte Island) on Sunday and were in Palo today.  Travel has been extremely slow due to roads clogged with debris. Teams report a large percentage of homes are unlivable.  Trees and posts are uprooted and shops and other buildings destroyed. Communication with the Manila office only on a very limited basis through satellite phone with poor signal, as they have not reached any area with cell service yet.

Late yesterday the first information arrived from Samar Island and it is similarly as devastated as Tacloban City, a focus of media reporting.  Initial reports indicate that hundreds are confirmed dead so far and thousands are missing, according to a statement by a local official on 10 November.

Some Areas Face ‘Total Ruin’

Samar Island has approximately 733,000 people. It was the first location that the storm made landfall. Its residents have not been able to get information out or contact loved ones.  Giporlos and Guiuan are reported to be “totally ruined” and 2,000 are listed as missing in Basey alone, according to a member of Samar’s Disaster Management Council.  It is assumed that similar situations will be found in other areas of Southern Samar which took Haiyan’s first direct hit.  UNDAC assessments teams are conducting aerial surveys of Samar today so some additional information will become available.

In addition to 18,000 tarps, CRS support includes water and hygiene supplies and non-food-item kits for 5,000 families. Cash-for-work community clean up and debris removal area also planned.

How You Can Help

  • $8 provides a water kit for a family. This includes 1 jerry can, 1 pail and aqua tabs for water purification.
  • $15 provides an emergency shelter kit. This includes tarps and nails that are combined with local materials to create emergency shelter.
  • $22 provides household living supplies. This includes sleeping mats, three blanket, utensils, plastics, glasses, and a cooking pot.
  • $28 provides hygiene kits. This includes a two-month family supply of soap, laundry detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine sanitary napkins, and towels.

Note: Dollar amounts cover items only. They do not include costs associated with distribution, training and monitoring.

And, as always, please continue to prayfor your Filipino brothers and sisters in their hour of need. You may also light a candle in the CRS virtual chapel.

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  1. Dyna Swayzer says:

    My Mother lives in San Miguel Leyte is there any information on how or who to contact once the communication lines are established?

    Thank you
    Dyna Swayzer

  2. Ben Roa says:

    Thanks to CRS and your man on the ground Joe Curry for your service to God and the Philippines in these times of crisis. As a Filipino-American in the US let me know the best way I can help.
    Best regards,
    Ben Roa

    • Jim Stipe says:

      Thanks, Ben. Joe does a fantastic job, as does our staff in the Philippines. One way you can help is by donating to CRS’ relief fund, which will help us provide urgent aid to those affected. You can donate here.

      Thanks again.

  3. David says:

    Is there a direct line for making donations for the philipine releif effort from the storm? I want my donation to go directly for the nuns working that area

    • Jim Stipe says:

      Thank you for your willingness to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. You can make a donation to Catholic Relief Services by clicking on this page. Donations won’t go specifically to nuns working in the area, but they will go towards relief work there, which we do in direct partnership with the Catholic Church.

  4. kaplianlal says:

    Should there be anything that i can do to help, i am available to support the team in the respond. My prayer are with you guys and for the people who suffer that God will bring comfort and solace.
    Gob bless CRS team.

  5. […] more about the relief efforts here, or go to the Catholic Relief Services page for Super Typhoon Haiyan to donate online, via phone or […]