Typhoon Haiyan – known locally as Yolanda – swept across the Philippines on Friday with winds of up to 235 kph, leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake.
With power still down in many areas, the full extent of the damage is not yet known, but officials in the Philippines have estimated that 10,000 people were killed in one province alone.
The typhoon was one of the strongest ever to make landfall, flattening thousands of houses, and destroying schools and an airport in the eastern city of Tacloban.
Matthew Carter, Head of CAFOD’s Humanitarian Department, said: “Power lines, phone lines and mobile towers have all been damaged, making communication very difficult – but it’s clear that the typhoon has had a catastrophic impact.
“Our local partners are on the ground in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs.
Katja Jewell, manager for CAFOD in North Wales said:
“What we know from our experience of dealing with these sudden disasters in Haiti, Pakistan and Mozambique in recent years is that the best way people can help is supporting the local agencies who are there in place on the ground ready to get relief to those in need.
“Our local partners are already operating in the worst hit areas, responding to the most immediate needs, as well as continuing to provide food and shelter to people who lost their homes in the earthquake on the island of Bohol last month. The typhoon has added to the destruction, and made it more difficult to deliver aid – but we’re doing everything we can to reach people in isolated areas.”
Our partners across the region are ensuring that emergency supplies are in place. We have pledged an initial £50,000 to respond.
CAFOD has worked in the Philippines since 1969. We have recently responded to several emergencies in the country, including Tropical Storm Washi in 2011, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and the earthquake that hit Bohol island last month.