Assistance Still Needed as Victims Cope in Aftermath of Disasters

Post a Comment » Written on October 7th, 2009     
Filed under: News
MANILA, PHILIPPINES (October 7, 2009) – Covenanters are assisting the people of Indonesia and the Philippines as the countries continue trying to cope with disasters that have killed more than 1,000 people and displaced more than 1 million others.

A week after Indonesia’s catastrophic earthquake, “People are camping in front of their houses, because they still have family trapped in the rubble,” says Jo Ann de Belen, World Relief’s country director at the scene. “They’re living in terrible conditions and need tents quickly. Some tents have started to come in by the tens and hundreds, but many more are needed, especially in the remote areas.”

More than 1,000 people are dead, hundreds more are injured and missing, and 30,000 people have been displaced from their homes, many of which lie in ruins. A landslide triggered by the quake killed 200 people.

In the quake-ravaged Padang-Pariaman region of Sumatra, thousands of people have lost their homes, entire communities lack clean water supplies, and villagers in remote areas still are waiting for help to arrive.

According to World Relief’s team at the scene, the most urgent needs right now include clean drinking water, tents, blankets, and wet weather gear. Teams also need body bags to bury the dead.

Funds from Covenant World Relief already are being used in the initial assistance. More funds will be funneled to the area as partners get desperately needed supplies to targeted communities that have been overlooked by other efforts.

Many residents of Manila and other areas of the Philippines continue to be displaced from their homes due to Tropical Storm Ketsana, which poured a month’s worth of rain in a six-hour period on September 26.

Jesus Covenant Church resumed its worship services on Sunday. Afterward, members distributed goods to people in the church and other affected families.

“We organized volunteer brigades to help clean the houses of those who need help because mud was knee deep,” said Brando, a church member.

“We are planning to have a wash out party wherein we will ask the affected members to list what they urgently need for their reconstruction because some of them lost almost everything,” Brando said. “Then we will ask our non-affected friends to match the list if they have things ready to be given away.

Although water has subsided in many areas, others remain flooded. Water in the home of Jesus Covenant’s pastor, Jhun Pegi, still is eight feet deep.

The Taiwan Covenant Church has been sending relief money and plans to continue with the assistance.

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