Field Ready Responds to Typhoon Rai in the Philippines
On December 16th, a deadly typhoon slammed into the Philippines. Super Typhoon Rai, or Odette as it’s called locally, first made landfall on the eastern island of Siargao, packing sustained winds of 160 mph. After devastating coastal areas with life-threatening storm surges up to 14 feet high, the storm tore its way over Bohol and just south of Cebu City.
There are an estimated 3.5 million vulnerable people in the worst-affected areas, and there are hundreds of deaths reported so far. The storm has also caused the Philippine government to pause COVID-19 vaccination efforts. People with severely damaged housing have taken shelter in shopping malls and even caves.
As you can see from these photos, taken by our on-the-ground team leader, Charles Barrete, the scale of this storm’s destruction is huge and the suffering associated with it is expected to be enormous. Charles reports that there are widespread power outages, housing and businesses destroyed, local and regional air travel disrupted, sea traffic halted, schools closed.
There is a strong need for fresh water, sanitation and key items like charging stations so people can recharge their phones and re-connect with loved ones. First responders will need personal protective equipment.
Charles shares his ideas on providing items to transport clean water, provide locally made sanitation items and solar-powered charging stations. “We have lots of ideas…” Charles shares on a call that continually drops connection, “and are working quickly to do all we can.”
These local manufacturers are very willing - with Field Ready’s technical support - to use their existing facilities to make the range of healthcare, shelter and WASH items we know can help people with their critical needs.
Field Ready’s Executive Director, Dr. Eric James, says that “Field Ready has the knowledge and capacity to respond to ease this suffering. We have done it before around the world. It’s just important that we get support.”
The destruction brought by this monster storm would be heartbreaking at any time – but it’s especially tragic coming during the holiday season, when many people in Cebu and Bohol were preparing to celebrate with loved ones. Your contribution will help us help them in this time of extreme need. Please visit www.fieldready.org and click on the “Donate” button to contribute.