By the Philippines, Formosa and Indonesia Relief Teams
(Originally in English and Chinese)
On November 8, 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan swept across the Philippines at wind speeds of 295 kilometers per hour with wind gusts reaching 360 kilometer per hour. It raised waves five meters high, leveling coastal villages as far as one kilometer inland. According to government officials, more than 16 million people were affected, almost four million were displaced, and 6,300 lost their lives.
On receiving the news, Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately contributed US$20,000 and conveyed Her deepest condolences and concerns. She requested that a relief team use the funds to help those affected. Our Association members from around the world also contributed over US$100,000. Relief teams of our Association members visited the afflicted areas four times.
First Relief Work: November 12 to 22, 2013
Our Formosan Association members flew to the disaster area via Manila where we met Association members from the Philippines and Indonesia. We traveled to Leyte Province to reach Ormoc City, which was left devastated, with no water and electricity. It lacked supplies and international aid had not yet arrived. With the help of local municipal employees and a local Chinese man, Mr. Lai, we used a portion of the money from Master as well as US$6,000 from our Association members’ contribution to purchase rice. We delivered three kilograms of rice to each of the 1,200 affected households on nearby Malapascua Island, and gave rice to 9,024 affected households in Ormoc City.
The work in Ormoc was one of the most daunting challenges ever faced by our relief teams. Thankfully, with Heaven’s blessing, we were able to accomplish our tasks, helping to provide comfort to those affected. Approximately PHP 1,130,050 (US$26,000) was spent on relief work.
Second Relief Work: November 25 to December 3, 2013
On November 25, our Formosan Association members flew into Manila and formed a relief team with our Philippine and Aulacese Association members. We traveled to Carles City, which suffered severe damage from the typhoon.
The Mayor of Carles, the Honorable Arnold A. Betita, advised us to go to the most severely damaged islands. We chartered a boat so that we could visit the area and understand the residents’ needs. The islanders explained that their houses toppled over after the typhoon swept through. They also lacked food supplies and cooking utensils, and only had coconuts to eat.
Our relief team purchased rice, daily necessities and food in Iloilo City and transported these to the port in Carles City for distribution. With the help of the Carles City Hall staff, we distributed five kilograms of rice each to 3,000 affected households.
On December 1, we went to Sara. There were 2,753 households in the city and surrounding areas affected by the typhoon. We purchased rice and also bought plastic sheets to be placed temporarily on homes that had lost their roofs. For the second relief effort, a total of PHP 1,949,551 (US$44,817) was spent which benefited 9,372 typhoon victims.
Third Relief Work: December 10, 2013 – December 16, 2013
On the evening of December 10, another group of our Formosan Association members flew to Manila to meet with our local Association members for the third relief effort. Typhoon Haiyan had swept across and inflicted severe damage on several cities of Southern Masbate Province.
Our relief team went to the disaster relief centers in each of the four cities to understand the situation and needs of the people. We distributed 2,100 packs of relief supplies in each city. With the help of the Governor of Masbate, Her Excellency Rizalina “Dayan” L. Seachon-Lanete, we purchased rice from the National Food Authority (NFA), along with other necessities such as sugar, canned snow peas and soap. The typhoon victims enthusiastically helped to arrange the relief supplies into 8,400 packages. The total value of these supplies was about PHP 1,161,266 (US$26,696).
On December 16, our relief team went to villages of the four affected cities to distribute the supplies, greeted by young islanders who sang Christmas carols to welcome us. We thank Heaven for Master’s abundant love and blessing, which gave the residents a comforting and heartwarming Christmas.
Fourth Relief Work: December 26, 2013 to January 10, 2014
The coastal areas of Manila were also affected by Typhoon Haiyan. On December 26, six of our Association members from Formosa and the Philippines went there to evaluate the situation. After the raging typhoon, life became extremely difficult for the residents. Our relief team purchased rice, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, soap, blankets and towels the next day and distributed them to 1,200 households in four villages along the Manila coast.
On January 4, 2014, we flew to Kalibo City in Aklan Province and distributed 5,000 packs of relief supplies to 16 typhoon-affected villages.
On January 6, our team visited the Mayor of Kalibo, the Honorable William S. Lachica. As we were the first group to arrive in the disaster area, Mayor Lachica actively assisted us in purchasing rice. We then distributed 5,000 packs of relief supplies to 16 villages. Each household received three kilograms of rice, soy sauce, oil, vinegar, soap, a blanket and a towel. Approximately PHP 1,049,894 (US$24,135) was spent on this relief work.
Many other relief organizations from other countries joined in during our work, and relief supplies from other groups also began arriving. People from around the world, irrespective of race and color, worked together comforting those affected by the typhoon and helping them to start a new life and rebuild their homes.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association
for Typhoon Haiyan Relief Work in the Philippines
|Food (rice, cooking oil, vinegar, soy sauce, fruits, cookies and sugar) and soap||4,638,588||A|
|Household items (blankets, towels and baby supplies)||102,695||B|
|Packaging materials (plastic bags, ropes and hardware), plastic sheets and tin sheets||312,155||C|
|Miscellaneous expenses (meal allowance, packing fee, transportation, taxi and tips)||51,757||F|
|Total|| PHP 5,290,761
The relief teams paid for their own accommodations, food and transportation, which totaled US$8,636.