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Please note: This is an ongoing major crisis / natural disaster. Numbers will be inaccurate as reports trickle in. Newer updates will be placed on the top.

Updated: - Miss_Moneypenny Miss_Moneypenny Dec 11, 2013

Philippines - Typhoon Haiyan (aka Yolanda) Update 12 Dec 2013




An email from a brother in Bethel Philippines: - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Dec 2, 2013

“Like what I said in my last email, I want to send a message which will have a more positive tone. And i'm happy that I do have some nice things to say despite the problems brought by the typhoon. Maybe I've told this to some of you or you may have known it already from others, but here it is anyway...

All the relatives of the Bethelites from Tacloban, the hardest hit city, are accounted for and are safe. The brothers from Tacloban will be resettled near Calbayog City, about 106 miles away from Tacloban. The Society leased a 1.5 hectare of land for some years so houses can be built for the brothers. A medical facility was already put up there manned by 3 brothers from France. They are teaching medical volunteers to care for the victims. I believe a Kingdom Hall will also rise up there. And as an icing to the cake, brother Mark Sanderson, the newest Governing Body member, will be coming on the 2nd week of December to comfort the brothers there and in other parts of the country affected by the typhoon. Isn't that wonderful! Jehovah is so loving as well as the Governing Body.

An announcement was sent to all Bethelites regarding brothers from other countries who want to make monetary donations. We were advised to inform them to send an email to the accounting office here in Philippines Bethel so they can be given instructions on how to make the donations. The email add is:treasury@ph.jw.org

Thanks so much again my friends for all the concern and support you give to us here in the Philippines. It's truly overwhelming to think how Jehovah never abandons us in time of dire need and uses all of you to give tangible proof of his loving care. Take care as well my friends.”

An email from a Sister in Bethel Philippines:

“This morning at morning worship it was announced that Bro Sanderson will be visiting the Philippines in December. He will come to visit some of the brothers and sisters affected by recent disasters.

We had a great District Convention in Davao. All the places affected by the recent disasters were represented. I thought that maybe our attendance would be affected but it didn't seem to be. More than 1,300 attended and 13 were baptized. The Society paid for the airfare of the signers from Tacloban. Some of the others from places like Roxas had purchases their tickets before the typhoon hit. They had their ticket but little money and wondered if they should come or not. They prayed to Jehovah and decided to come. When they arrived the brothers were there to pick them up at the airport and had made arrangements with brothers and sisters in the hearing congregations to care for their accommodations, food, and transportation back and forth to the assembly site. They were also given so much clothing that they said they didn't know how they would be able to get it all back home. They were joking that maybe they could wear five layers when they took the plane back home.”


UPDATED: - Miss_Moneypenny Miss_Moneypenny Nov 19, 2013

5am, my phone rung, Its YangYang, a dependable brother who work closely with the Disaster Relief Committee, and he informed me that the two members of the DRC together with other 4 brothers and sisters are coming by boat from Ormoc City in Leyte and will docked at Carmen Pier, about 17 kilometers from home. The two DRC's is from right photo, Bro. Dan Ceballos and next to him is Bro. Roland Gemino. They worked hard in Ormoc City one of the hardest hit in Leyte like Tacloban. They have to be in Cebu by 12 noon as the branch called them for a meeting. We invite them for a breakfast in a resort, Coco Palms, just near our place. They were so happy that at last they can eat real breakfast for almost a week now. They told us that in Ormoc, they are always eating sardines with plenty of soup and a little rice. They told us their happy and encouraging experiences while we are having our breakfast. They told us about the sad situation in Ormoc and Tacloban City. They even told us how Jehovah help them in boarding the boat going to Cebu. The captain complain about overloading the boat, but they pleaded and they agree they will be hidden in room so full of cockroaches. When the coast guard arrived to check the boat, they act like so famished faces and the coast guard never say a word and they let them go. They have to be in Cebu as there will be a meeting with the branch representative. Nov. 17, 2013.
-posted in Fb by a brother from Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, Ph

Source

Update: - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 18, 2013
In Tagloban where the worst of the storm and flooding was it is like in Jerusalem in 70CE. It is like a war zone. Everybody stealing what they can from others.

So the JW Organisation evacuated all the brothers from the city. They purchased a large portion of land outside the city. There they put all the aid and food supplies and have protected it against looting.

There the District convention will take place, as the brothers are all outside the danger zone. There they will build a simple housing for all the brothers inside this area. It will be a small village just made up of Jehovah's Witnesses.


NOVEMBER 14, 2013 | PHILIPPINES

MANILA, Philippines—Super Typhoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines), one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall, ripped through the Philippines on November 8, 2013.
As of November 13, 2013, the Philippines branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Manila reported that 27 Witnesses have been confirmed dead. Well over 100 homes of the Witnesses and five places of worship were destroyed.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is coordinating the international disaster response from their world headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. As part of these arrangements, the Philippines branch office has been making efforts to deliver food, water, medicine, and other supplies into the affected areas. By Sunday, November 10, about ten vans filled with relief supplies had been delivered, with additional trucks being dispatched the following day.
The region has had little time to recover from the magnitude-7.2 earthquake that shook the Philippines on October 15, 2013, killing 218 people. Reports indicate that the massive quake claimed the lives of three of Jehovah’s Witnesses, one in a landslide and two more when their homes collapsed. The earthquake came on the heels of Typhoon Nari, which struck the Philippines on October 12, 2013, killing at least 13 people.
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses cares for expenses related to their relief efforts by utilizing funds donated to their worldwide work. The Governing Body also assesses the need for skilled volunteers, and works with their global network of branch offices to provide qualified personnel to assist with disaster relief work in cooperation with local authorities and other relief agencies.
Dean Jacek, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Philippines, stated: “We are all deeply grieved over the extensive loss of life caused by these recent catastrophes. There is a great need for comfort in view of the destruction as well as the trauma to the victims. We will continue to do our best to provide ongoing relief and spiritual assistance to our friends and neighbors.”

Media Contact(s):
International: J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000

Philippines: Dean Jacek, tel. +63 2 411 6090


Source


Updated - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 14, 2013

Watchtower Medical Team

imagejpg-3038323_p9 14 Nov 2013 01.jpg
A volunteer group of Jehovah's Witness doctors left Manila Tuesday to assist victims of the typhoon in Tacloban, Samar and Leyte. They carried nearly 200kg of medical supplies including antibiotics. We wish them much success on their journey.
Source

The following email was received via a sister in Brooklyn.- WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 13, 2013

Hello friends,

In response to so many of you who are concerned about our brothers and sisters and relatives in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan, I have the following to report that is about as accurate as we can get at this time. Please keep in mind that as information becomes available, the situation will change. Also, I am relying on information that has been given to me by Jona, her family members and others, including a brother in our congregation whose wife is alive in Cebu.

As of yesterday (Monday) evening, Jona received a report from a brother who visits the Philippine branch office in Quezon City on an almost daily basis. According to him, there are an unconfirmed number of 34 brothers dead from the typhoon. That report was modified by the branch, which issued a report of 26 confirmed dead. All of them had sought shelter in a Kingdom Hall in Tacloban, and were killed when the storm surge swept the building away.

Many more are missing and a thorough search is being conducted to locate survivors and victims. The primary area of death and destruction stretches along a path from east to west in the middle of the country in the Central Visayas from Leyte province where the storm first made landfall to Iloilo in the west, then to Palawan a couple of hundred miles in the South China Sea.

To give you some perspective, the Philippines is about the size of California and similarly is long from north to south. If the storm had hit California, it would have entered at Death Valley in the east and traveled westward through Bakersfield and exited near Morro Bay. Angeles would be equivalent to just north of Sacramento, Manila at San Francisco, GenSan at San Diego and Tacloban just west of Las Vegas.

Cebu Island and Cebu City also suffered a lot of damage, destruction, deaths and injuries, but reports are incomplete since the primary focus of attention has been Tacloban, Leyte Province. We do not have any reports from Iloilo or any other places yet. In all of the Central Visayas, there is no electricity, little or no cell phone service, looting has stripped the areas of food and gasoline and martial law is in effect. As soon as I hear anything further, I will let y'all know. The official death toll as of 8 am EST today was over 1700. It is expected to top 10,000. Many JWs could be among that number since not everyone has been accounted for and the search continues.

Many of you have asked about Jona's family. Her parents live in General Santos City (commonly called GenSan) in the far southern end of the country on Mindanao Island. They experienced a lot of rain and tropical force winds, but they are fine and have no damage. The rest of her family, and where we lived while I was there is in Angeles City, 60 miles north of Manila on Luzon Island. Being protected in a central valley and surrounded by mountains, they had only tropical force winds and lots of rain and some minor flooding, which is considered normal for the area. Everyone there is fine.

In the meantime, some have inquired as to the best way to make a donation to the relief effort. Here is my suggestion: if you send a check to the Philippine branch, it will take at least a week to get there, maybe two. Then, it will take at least 45 days for the check to clear and the funds won't be available for two months. If you put a check in the local contribution box marked "Worldwide Work," it will be sent to Patterson at the end of the month. That will also take time. If you send a check directly to Patterson, as our part on this week's service meeting allows, they can wire the money directly to the Philippine branch and the money will be available almost immediately. Remember, this is my suggestion from my personal experience having lived in the Philippines for nearly a year. You should corroborate this by asking your congregation service committee for more specific direction.

I am continuing to attempt to get reports from other parts of the country. Please keep everyone in the affected area in your prayers.



Brother Howard posted this update on his page: - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 12, 2013
Kingdom Hall @ Bingawan, Ilo-ilo, Philippines after super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan)
Latest Update:
Sadly, 32 of our brothers & sisters from Tacloban City (the worst-hit place) are confirmed dead from super typhoon Haiyan, many are still missing and 1 Kingdom Hall destroyed.
Brother Armstrong (the DO) has visited the brothers and sisters. They said they always get hit by storms all year round but never as strong as this.
Many people along with their shanties have been washed away by the sea.
The society is of course on the move to come to the aid of our friends. They need all the prayer, water, food, clothing they can get. Their situation is so heartbreaking.



The following message is from Brother Bert Hoefnagels... - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 12, 2013
Dear friends,
This is just a short update, as we know that you are all waiting to hear from us.
Bert and 3 other brothers are this week at the Island of Bohol. That is where the 7.2 earthquake was 2 weeks ago. They have had meetings with all the brothers and met with the families of the 3 brothers who have died in the quake.

There are 8 Kingdom hall destroyed and another 7 will need repairs. Also there are about 200 homes that need to be repaired or even rebuild. The homes there are made mostly out of a hollow block layer with coconut lumber on top, so that can not withstand a quake of this size. They could not rent a place to set up shop, so now we are using the parking area of the Kingdom hall. We can use the brothers of the Kingdom Hall Construction teams to help out. From the last storm 'Pablo" we have a nice system to rebuild homes fast. Some of our local brothers are able to do the work themselves and they will be helped with construction materials.

That was till last friday…

Then the super typhoon hit. For the island of Bohol it did bring a lot of rain and it did storm, but not as strong as they expected. It added a few homes to the list of repairs but not to much.

Now the rest of the country, that is another story. You might have seen on TV that it looks like a true war zone. Communication is very difficult as power lines and cell sites are down. The circuit overseers are visiting the brothers and local elders are caring for their sheep.Tomorrow a brother from the Branch Committee will go and visit the Taclooban area to see what needs to be done.

This storm came at our District Convention time. Quite a few of the Bethel speakers are stranded at airports. Others arrived to find the assemblies cancelled and the venues turned into evacuation centers by the government.

Metro Manila with it almost 19 million people, escaped the storm completely. They have been cleaning out gutters and drainage-ways for days. Some of the low areas had emergency rubber boats for evacuations given to them, as we expected heavy floods there too. We did get a part of the storm, but rain was not enough for flooding.

I wish I could tell you more, but we have no more information at this moment.

The Philippines always get a lot of typhoons during the rainy season, but the people never seem to loose their smile. Jehovah will help our brothers as he always has.

This is it for now.

For all my lovely Filipino friends, please sent no balikbayan boxes. We do appreciate you concern, but at this time, due to the large scale renovations that are going on at Bethel, we can not handle relief goods. Most of the needs are focussed on rebuilding and feeding our brothers. That will take a lot of financial support. Therefor such funding can be sent to the Branch and is so desired, earmarked for Disaster Relief Philippines.

We love you,

Bert and Jeanine.


Update - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 12, 2013

Sad news just in that 47 of our brothers have died in the worst hit area (Tacloban City Philippines) and there are many still missing

Brothers,
Just to let you know I have had contact with Bro Andrew Struyf who is on international construction assignment in the Philippines with his wife Gabrielle constructing new translation offices. They are in Bacolod which was about 180km SW of the path that the eye of the typhoon took, however as the typhoon covered an area of some 600km they were well and truly effected.
8 Kingdom halls and 147 of our brothers homes have been destroyed, but none of our brothers in that area have lost their lives. The project is underwater and has ceased as focus turns to the Disaster relief efforts required there now. Much of the communication is still down in the worst hit areas and no doubt more information through the appropriate channel will follow shortly. Whilst I am not in the habit of dispersing this type of information I thought it may assist you in your assignments as no doubt many of our brothers will be keen to know how our brothers are getting on. May we all continue praying for them all.
Kindest Regards,
Chris Hagan
Project Development
RBC - NSW

Dear friends,
This is just a short update, as we know that you are all waiting to hear from us.
external image island+of+bohol+map+-+Google+Search.png
Bert and 3 other brothers are this week at the Island of Bohol. That is where the 7.2 earthquake was 2 weeks ago. They have had meetings with all the brothers and met with the families of the 3 brothers who have died in the quake. There are 8 Kingdom hall destroyed and another 7 will need repairs. Also there are about 200 homes that need to be repaired or even rebuild. The homes there are made mostly out of a hollow block layer with coconut lumber on top, so that cannot withstand a quake of this size.
They could not rent a place to set up shop, so now we are using the parking area of the Kingdom hall. We can use the brothers of the Kingdom Hall Construction teams to help out. From the last storm 'Pablo" we have a nice system to rebuild homes fast. Some of our local brothers are able to do the work themselves and they will be helped with construction materials. That was till last Friday…
Then the super typhoon hit. For the island of Bohol it did bring a lot of rain and it did storm, but not as strong as they expected. It added a few homes to the list of repairs but not to much.
Now the rest of the country, that is another story. You might have seen on TV that it looks like a true war zone. Communication is very difficult as power lines and cell sites are down. The circuit overseers are visiting the brothers and local elders are caring for their sheep. Tomorrow a brother from the Branch Committee will go and visit the Taclooban area to see what needs to be done.

external image philippine-map-leyte-samar-region.jpg

This storm came at our District Convention time. Quite a few of the Bethel speakers are stranded at airports. Others arrived to find the assemblies cancelled and the venues turned into evacuation centers by the government. Metro Manila with it almost 19 million people, escaped the storm completely. They have been cleaning out gutters and drainage-ways for days. Some of the low areas had emergency rubber boats for evacuations given to them, as we expected heavy floods there too. We did get a part of the storm, but rain was not enough for flooding.
I wish I could tell you more, but we have no more information at this moment. The Philippines always get a lot of typhoons during the rainy season, but the people never seem to loose their smile. Jehovah will help our brothers as he always has. This is it for now.
For all my lovely Filipino friends, please sent no “balikbayan” boxes. We do appreciate you concern, but at this time, due to the large scale renovations that are going on at Bethel, we cannot handle relief goods.
Most of the needs are focused on rebuilding and feeding our brothers. That will take a lot of financial support. Therefore such funding can be sent to the Branch and is so desired, earmarked for Disaster Relief Philippines. We love you, Bert and Jeanine (End of letter)

Please note the above letter probably was sent primarily to friends in the Philippines and the note about donations would apply there—but those of us in the USA would send anything through our local congregation to the Worldwide Work and that will be used as the Governing Body directs to help those needing care in the islands. Here is a second letter, a personal letter sent to me from a dear brother who spent many years there in the traveling work in the circuit and district work.


Yes, the Philippines have many disasters or calamities one after the other. In Oct 2013 was the earthquake in Bohol. Sad to say 3 of our friends lost their lives, about 14 Kingdom Halls were damaged and many also of our brothers have lost homes or some either partly or fully damaged. The earthquake has a magnitude of 7.2 and creating so many sinkholes which are very dangerous.About 200 brothers were without food for several days. Then this was followed by another typhoon or hurricane hitting Central Luzon especially the province of Nueva Ecija. Typhoon Santi destroyed many crops of our brothers and many trees were either down or all their leaves were blown off by the strong wind. We here in our assignment also felt the effect of the strong wind and we feared that are roof will be blown off because this happened at night but fortunately our rooftop remained intact. So the branch wrote us a letter encouraging us to make voluntary donations financially, not in kind. But of course our world headquarters in New York already sent help ahead of time and our donations locally will just augment the help from the headquarters. The branch office here organized a Disaster Relief Committee and opened up bank accounts where we can send our financial help.
An as if the disaster last month was not enough, then came the super typhoon badly hitting Central Visayas that brought untold deaths and destruction especially in the Samar and Leyte provinces facing the Pacific Ocean. The people were warned and they were ready for the strong wind but were unprepared for the storm surge creating waves 10 to 15 feet high, This is first time that people here in the Philippines experienced that problem and those living by the seashore suffered the worst tragedy. Not wanting to lose their meager property cost them their lives. Sad to say that 26 brothers and sisters died in Leyte not to speak about their houses destroyed. Some escaped to higher grounds 3 days before the super typhoon had first land touchdown in Eastern Samar and Tacloban City in Leyte.
Now the branch organized 5 truckloads of relief** goods to the distributed in Samar and Leyte but we do not how long it will take to reach the affected areas. Some of the roads have yet to be cleared due to debris like fallen trees blocking the highways. But also crossing the channel by barges from Sorsogon province to connect them to the Samar provinces and on to Leyte province may create delays. But rest assured that the branch office here will do everything they can do to assist the brothers in the affected areas. This will include other provinces along the pathway of typhoon Yolanda which has an international name Haiyan. Another typhoon is now raging in the part of Eastern Mindanao named Zorayda but will pass and affect other provinces before its exit into West Philippine Sea (shown on some maps as China Sea). .
We hope that this will at least update you and the friends. We send you our warm love and best wishes. PETE & LILLIAN (End of letter from Philippines)


Update - Miss_Moneypenny Miss_Moneypenny Nov 12, 2013

Dear Friends,

It has been announced during the morning worship of Philippine Bethel that 26 brothers have been confirmed dead in Central Visayas due to super typhoon and several others remain missing.
Five delivery trucks loaded with relief goods left Bethel this afternoon to deliver aid to our affected brothers in Tacloban, Leyte.
May we continue to pray for our brothers in Central Visayas (Leyte, Eastern Samar, Cebu, Iloilo, Palawan and nearby areas) and their loved ones that they will be able to receive the material and spiritual support that they badly need in this time of calamity.
Let's also pray for the members of the Relief Teams as well as the search and rescue teams so they would have the power beyond what is normal to do be able to accomplish their Christian duties. Major roads and bridges had collapsed, thus making it difficult for the transport of the goods. Communication has yet to be restored in worst hit towns of Central Visayas.

Sources- 1 Italian sister - 1 American brother



Clarification Update - WorldNewsMedia WorldNewsMedia Nov 11, 2013

There is a confirmation from the Society that to date, 26 of our brothers and sisters died and 10 are still missing. The figures might change since communication is still down. The society's Disaster Relief Committees (DRC) is working on the relief operations as of this time. If you want to donate below are the Society's account info:

Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of the Philippines, Inc.
Banco De Oro: 6220-0001-87
BPI: 3241-0141-25
Metrobank: 3075-5023-98
PNB: 12-0302-2000-15

If in doubt, we suggest we verify the account info to your local congregation elders.
as posted by a Filipino Brother through FB.


This was sent by one of our Brothers:
According to another Brother, 37 brothers died on the disaster caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), and some of them were trapped in the Kingdom Halls (Sagkahan Cong.)

They have started to repack relief goods for the victims as seen in the picture below. This is sad news. Please coordinate with the body of elders and relief committee for donations. Don't forget to include them in our Prayers..

581268_178442502358530_105146809_n.jpg


1380705_178676115668502_682493619_n.jpg






Shared on Nov 11, 2013 7:22 am by WorldNewsMedia
Edited last by Miss_Moneypenny on Dec 11, 2013 6:30 pm
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