ASIA-OCEANIAOMI Provincial appeals for help
With an estimated 10,000 people feared dead due to Super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) that ripped through Central Philippines, coupled with thousands of injured Filipinos, flattened communities, no power, no potable water in at least four provinces, starvation is waiting to happen as food supplies could hardly reached the affected areas.
The full extent of the devastation was not known until more than 24 hours after Yolanda made landfall in Central Philippines. Actual casualty figure is still being ascertained but media estimated that the death toll could reach 10,000 or more.
The whole world was horrified with what television networks have shown.
debris greeted the people of Samar and Leyte the morning after, in areas where
the typhoon first made its landfall.
As shown on television, bodies of children and adults were strewn across both sides of the roads, fallen century old trees, electric poles and almost everything lying in the middle of roads, blocking motorists and survivors. Almost all houses and buildings had lost their roof.
Many were walking in daze described by reporters as doing the “zombie walk,” trying to salvage anything in areas where their houses used to stand.
People need food and water. Medicine too. Local government units failed to function as government workers were also victims. Looting by desperate Filipinos was reported and seen on national television. Prices of gasoline, with stocks running out, rose 10 times higher.
Philippine President Benigno Aquino placed the entire country under state of national calamity to expedite rescue, relief and rehabilitation efforts and ordered the release of emergency funds.
Seeing this on television and other news organizations, the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) in Philippine Province through Oblate Missionary Foundation, Inc. (OMF, Inc.), the OMI social development arm and the Oblate Media have quickly organized a fund drive aimed sending assistance to calamity victims.
Dubbed “Operation Tulong Yolanda Victims,” the Oblates have appealed for help from the people of Central Mindanao region where its media ministry operates.
“With the heart breaking situation of our fellow Filipinos in Central Visayas, I am appealing to all to extend whatever assistance you can provide,” Father Larry DE GUIA, OMI Philippine Provincial Superior, said over Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation, the OMI’s leading media organization.
“Faith without work is dead,” he said in urging Oblate Media listeners to share something for calamity victims.
“We were spared by calamities and we are thankful not only through prayers but through sacrifices and by extending assistance,” he said. “Rest assured your assistance will reach the needy in the affected provinces.”
On the day the appeal of Fr. Larry was on November 12, aid that includes food and used clothing started to arrive in OMI run radio stations in Kidapawan City, Cotabato City and Koronadal City. (Edwin Fernandez in www.omiphil.org)