By Formosa Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
On August 12, 2013, Typhoon Utor, the strongest of the season, made a catastrophic landfall over the northern Philippine island of Luzon, leaving extensive damage to homes, infrastructure and agriculture. It is reported that at least 11 people lost their lives and almost 400,000 were affected.
Supreme Master Ching Hai contributed US$20,000 and asked our Association members to provide aid for the affected individuals and convey Her deepest condolences and love. Our Association members from Taipei, Formosa formed a relief team and contributed an additional US$606 to further the relief efforts.
Upon our relief team’s arrival in Manila on August 17, we learned that the damaged area was very large, including the provinces in northern Luzon Island. Based on the information we received, we chose to focus our relief efforts on Masinloc City in Zambales Province.
We left at 4am the next day and drove to Masinloc City, where we met with the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) to learn more about the situation. Representatives at the CSWD informed us that 13 villages with 4,200 households were in urgent need of supplies. According to CSWD, the people had sufficient rice, but they were in desperate need of warm items such as blankets. We then took a car to visit the inundated villages and saw that most of the fields were flooded. We decided to give each household two blankets, one mat and two bars of soap, and returned to Manila to purchase them. Because of the heavy rains and flooding in Manila from the newly formed Tropical Storm Trami, we were delayed for our return trip to Masinloc City until the afternoon of August 20.
On August 21, we visited three of the most severely damaged villages: Santa Rita, Tapuac, and Collat, in Masinloc City. We gave out relief packages to 2,403 households. Due to the heavy and frequent rainfall, we gave the rest of the supplies to CSWD who would distribute them when the rain became less intense.
With the help from CSWD, we gave out a total 8,400 warm blankets, 4,200 mats and soap to 4,200 households in Masinloc City in the Province of Zambales.
The temperature at night was cold because of the rain, so the blankets brought warmth to the people. When they showed happiness and joy upon receiving the supplies, we felt God’s love comforted their hearts and that God cared about all the affected people.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association
for Typhoon Utor Relief Work in the Philippines
|Total|| PHP 898,400
Throughout the relief operation, team members paid for their own travel expenses.