Charitable Aid Coming to the Philippines After Tropical Storm Ravages Islands

The Philippines has been ravaged by a tropical storm, and aid is coming from home and abroad.

The Philippines, which are still struggling to rebuild after 2013’s Super Typhoon Haiyan, recently endured yet another blow. We’ve got some information about how you can help. Photo: Richard Whitcombe / Shutterstock.com

Tropical Depression Kai-Tak spent several days scraping itself over the eastern Philippines the weekend of Saturday, December 16. On the island of Biliran, heavy rains, flash flooding, and landslides have left at least 50 people dead or missing, according to officials there. Nearly 90,000 have been forced out of their homes, while rough seas and damaged bridges have made ferrying them to safer islands impossible. At least 15,000 vacationers are also stranded on the island. As of Wednesday, December 20, the island still has no power and limited water.

Rescue efforts are being hampered by the damaged infrastructure, in an area that was still recovering from the disastrous 2013 Typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 5000 people. But while the Philippines and Biliran have low international visibility, some help is forthcoming. The Philippine Navy is set to bring a massive delivery of goods and services, but had not yet arrived as of Wednesday.

The Chinese embassy in Manila has donated over 5.1 million in Philippine Peso (P5.1 million is approximately equal to $101,000 US) from the Red Cross Society of China to the Philippine Red Cross, to be used to strengthen disaster relief efforts. Counselor Sun Yi, the Chinese representative in Manila, has said that more will be coming. China has a history of providing aid to thee Philippines in times of disaster.

For those who would like to render aid themselves, the government of the Philippines has set up a channel through the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Details are published in the Philstar here. Affected areas, which include the province of Biliran and the townships of Kananga, Carigara, Tanauan, Ormoc, and Tacloban in the neighboring province of Leyte have been declared to be in a state of calamity, which freezes the prices of fuel and basics and gives them access to emergency funds.

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