You can explore the DSWD Disaster Mitigation and Response Situation Map.
The photos and videos and stories from #YolandaPH affected areas –in particular thestorm surge that devastated Tacloban City– reminds me of the gut-wrenching devastation we saw in Japan during President Aquino’s visit in 2011.
As #YolandaPH approached the Philippines, the DSWD prepositioned relief goods in areas expected to be affected; the President dispatched Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas to Tacloban City to head coordination efforts there.
In the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, efforts were focused on distributing prepositioned relief supplies (in some cases, however, these were destroyed due to the epic scale of the calamity), restoring communications, and clearing roads and bridges to restore communications and contact with communities cut off from each other.
The Armed Forces established communications facilities in Tacloban City, Roxas City and Mactan City on November 9. On the same day, 100 AFP troops arrived in Tacloban City from Samar (clearing roads as they proceeded to Tacloban via the San Juanico Bridge), with an additional 50 troops due today, November 10. The Philippine National Police sent 150 cops to Tacloban early in the morning of November 10. The troops and police are much needed to restore law and order.
See the November 9, 2013 morning press briefing of Undersecretary Abigal Valte, the Deputy Presidential Spokesperson, and the evening press interaction of President Benigno S. Aquino III with the media for more details. Today, November 10, the President went early in the morning to visit Roxas City, Tacloban City and other affected areas.
A State of Calamity has been declared in many areas. See this briefer on the State of Calamity to see what this means.
For continuing updates and information, bookmark the Typhoon Yolanda page of the Official Gazette. It includes the Google Crisis Map in cooperation with Google, volunteers, and PCDSPO.
Official government reports on the effects of the typhoon are released on a regular basis by the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Relief updatesare also regularly released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD).
The NDRRMC is in charge of immediate rescue and other disaster-related efforts, while the DSWD handles relief distribution and evacuation centers. The PCDSPO conveys lists of people needing help to the NDRRMC so names can be included in their lists of people/communities to attend to.
Concerned families and friends from all over the world have been trying to locate loved ones in affected areas. Right now, there are two major initiatives to try to address the need for information.
They are: Google Person Finder and the Philippine Red Cross Tracing Service. We have gotten Google and the Philippine Red Cross in touch with each other, in the hope that they can work out joining forces to provide one unified tracking/finding service.
It’s worth noting that Google’s initiative is a direct outcome of the experience Filipinos had in Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng; volunteers set up a #RescuePH and person finder database and it became the model for Google Crisis Response initatives thereafter. The Red Cross, for its part, has generations of experience in finding people: most notably, it’s how millions of people found each other in the wake of World Wars I and II.
Telcos: SeeSmart & Sun Libreng Tawag in the Visayas. Also, Globe Advisory: Service restoration in Visayas is now underway in areas severely affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Communication services now up in Iloilo and Roxas City. Libreng Charging stations have been set up in Bohol, Leyte and Samar.
See this update from the Department of Social Welfare and Development for November 9 on affected families, and food packs being sent. Additional information on November 9 comes from the Philippine Navy which is also delivering relief by sea.
From November 7-8, around 161 volunteers went to help pack relief goods. The National Resource Operations Center is now on 24/7 shifts. For those who want to volunteer, kindly call 851 2681 or 09184219780 to schedule your shift at DSWD-NROC.
If you are in Cebu and want to help, go to the Provincial Capitol or call 254 7198 or 254 8397.
Australia has made a donation of relief supplies and sent experts. Britain has offered assistance and dispatched a DFID team. Canada has likewise made a donation to relief organizations, while Manitoba province has also made a donation. The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs has just granted 2 million Euro (about 2.7 million Dollars) to get disaster relief going. The money will be spend through UN & Red Cross Programs. The Dutch Red Cross has separately allocated 50 thousand Euro. A team has been dispatched from Israel. The United States has made funds available for disaster relief while search and rescue teams have been dispatched to lend assistance. New Zealandhas made a donation to the Red Cross to support relief efforts.
International Organization Initiatives:
About 4.3 million people are affected by the Typhoon in 36 provinces. Over 330,900 people are in 1,223 evacuation centres and 11,200 people are staying with host communities.The Government accepted the UN offer of international assistance.
Private Sector Initiatives: A comprehensive and growing list of initiatives can be found via MovePH. Some others include:
University of Santo Tomas: For those who would want to donate in cash, and alumni: Security Bank 0171-008282-201 UST Central Student Council.
There are many other ongoing efforts. Visit Definitely Filipino on FaceBook.