Dec. 9, 2004
By Linda Bloom
YORK (UMNS) -- Churches and relief organizations are responding as
typhoons, floods and landslides have resulted in death and destruction
in the Philippines.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), sent grants to two of the
denomination’s episcopal areas in the Philippines in response to
recovery efforts from typhoons earlier this season.
of Dec. 8, the agency was waiting for information from United
Methodists there regarding response to the latest storm, which occurred
Nov. 29, according to David Sadoo, UMCOR field staff for emergency
services. "These latest ones are probably the worst," he said. "We’re
continuing to respond to requests made by the conferences."
than 1,750 people are dead or missing as a result of the storms,
according to a Dec. 9 report from Reuters news agency. The U.S.
government dispatched Marine and Navy personal on Dec. 7 from nearby
Okinawa to the Philippines to assist residents in the flood-ravaged
noted that Action by Churches Together (ACT), a coalition of interfaith
relief organizations, including UMCOR, has issued an alert on the
Philippines in preparation for formulating a bigger plan of response.
"As soon as ACT issues an appeal we will send some funds to them," he
to ACT, the four typhoons spawned over a period of three weeks have
caused damage in at least five regions of the Philippines.
addition to the fatalities, thousands are homeless. Extensive damage
has been reported to property and agriculture, as well as to major roads
and communication and power lines.
of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines and Lutheran
World Relief, both ACT members, visited some of the most-affected
villages – Gabaldon, Nueve Ecija, and Dingalan, Aurora, on Dec. 9 to
assess the situation.
to ACT, the team described Gabaldon as a "ghost town," with many houses
abandoned after being damaged by logs, stones, mud and debris. Many
residents of the villages are staying in evacuation centers.
Dec. 3, ACT sent $40,000 to the council as an initial response so it
could provide food, potable water, sleeping mats, plastic sheets and
light blankets to at least 6,500 families in Central Luzon, Southern
Tagalog, Bicol and the National Capital Region.
Beher, UMCOR’s executive secretary for communications, reported that
funds are needed specifically to respond to relief efforts in the
Philippines. Gifts should be earmarked for UMCOR Advance No. 240235,
Philippines Emergency. Checks can be dropped in church collection plates
or mailed directly to UMCOR at 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 330, New York,
NY 10115. To make a credit card donation, call (800) 554-8583.
News media contact: Linda Bloom·(646) 369-3759·New York· E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.