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Philippines Typhoon Update

According to the Beaufort scale, winds of 50 mph can pick up a vehicle and winds of 70mph can blow down a house. The recent typhoon in the Philippines, known locally as Odette and internationally as Rai, had winds speeds of up to 80 mph. 

A rescue worker helps a girl wade through flooding caused by Typhoon Rai in Cagayan de Oro City.

Its path cut across six regions where at least 3.8 million people live[1] below the poverty line. For three days the typhoon ripped through communities wiping out houses and livelihoods. While thousands were evacuated, thousands of others have been left without electricity or clean water. We give thanks to God that OMF workers and colleagues in the area are safe.

Residents salvage what’s left of the their damaged homes caused by Typhoon Rai in Cebu city.

OMF International partner Philrads has been distributing rice, canned goods, water and small solar lights to 1,000 families in affected areas. The local church has reported to them that the number of victims who have lost homes and livelihoods is overwhelming.

The storm took a similar path as two previous typhoons, one in 2011, and Super Typhoon Yolanda, which killed more than 6,000 Filipinos in 2013. The memory of these terrifying events has resulted in greater cooperation between the government and local communities meaning better disaster preparedness.

Residents of Ubay, Bohol, dig through piles of debris to find anything they can use to rebuild their homes.

Please be praying for the post-typhoon effort of relief, recovery and retrieval in the affected areas, by the government and NGOs. Many may have to spend their Christmas in darkness as it can take up to a month for the power supply in Central Visayas to return to normal.Donations can be made via your local OMF office by giving to the Philippines General Relief Fund and we will pass this on to our partners Philrads.

Watch a video about Philrads here

[1] Based on estimates made by a United Nations agency.

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