During Christmas 2012, AAI staff in the Philippines in partnership with IPI Foundation of Davao delievered relief supplies to more than 1,250 families in typhoon-devastated Compostela Valley near Davao in the Philippines. The scale of tragedy here makes other flooded areas like in New Jersey pale in comparison. There are no government agencies like FEMA to assist, no private insurance to cover people’s destroyed homes and people currently in danger of starving to death. Bodies are still being covered by mud and rock slides... thousands of homes and hundreds of thousands of square miles of farmland are destroyed.
Our gratitude to Yolanda Stern in California and our relief partners from IPI Corporation and Foundation in Cebu & Davao for their big hearts and their staff's courage. On Christmas Day, AAI’s 5 member Christian and Muslim team of volunteers drove 12 hours in AAI nurse Ralph Samson’s car from Iligan in western Mindanao to perform the best we could offer. Our financial support came from Americares, International Relief Teams and Global Giving’s myriad private donors. We also used the last of our water purification tablets from Medentech in Ireland. We, like all other agencies, are ovewrwhelmed by the scope of the tragedy. We could only feed a small percentage of those families in need. Much support is still needed.
Our targeted survivors of Typhoon Pablo were in the rural Municipality of New Bataan, Province of Compostela Valley New Bataan, one of the most devastated districts hit by the 100 mph winds of the recent super typhoon last December 3-6, 2012. According to the local Municipal Social Works and Development office, in that District alone there are more than 27,000 individuals suffering... and more than 900 corpses recovered with hundreds more people missing. Relief teams are still counting dead decomposing bodies beneath the rocky and muddy soil during retrieval operations by the Philippine Army.
In the village of Barangay Andap, all houses were swept away by flood water away including the 12 buildings of elementary and high schools… all areas were covered with large stones and uprooted trees. The road and bridges were also destroyed due to heavy currents of water even up to now and making relief operations more difficult.
We found that the TOP 3 most needed supplies in the area are FOOD, WATER, and CLOTHING. Equally important, supplies of MEDICINES such anti-pyretic (anti-fever), antibiotics, anti-diarrheal, anti-cough and colds, cardiac drugs for hypertensive patients, anti-asthma, and anti-leptospirosis and among others are also badly needed to address many medical, sanitation and clean water concerns. Minor surgery and wound care MEDICAL SUPPLIES are also needed for some patients who are suffering from cuts, injuries and abrasions that risk serious infection. Diseases and epidemics are also a threat.
AAI will continue relief operations through the months of January and February. All contributions are welcome.
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