Dear Friends and Family.
The Philippines was hit by a Super Typhoon last Sunday which caused major damages throughout Catanduanes. We are thankful to God that though there has been much devastation throughout the island, none of our students, staff or friends were killed or injured. Communication has been difficult, because the systems have been down-we have only started to hear from people today, and have had only limited contact.
According to the Red Cross, “Ferocious winds and torrential rain destroyed at least 25,000 homes on the island and damaged another 45,000, but the numbers are expected to rise.” Winds were recorded at up to 180 miles per hour, and there were storm surges along the coastal areas of up to 16 feet.
The power is out throughout the island, and many roads are blocked by landslides, downed trees, power poles and heavy flooding in many areas. The estimate is that 90% of all infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. Crops have been wiped out throughout the region.
Food, fresh water and supplies will need to be shipped in from outside the island.
Our school facility was greatly damaged (see pictures), staff and student houses were damaged, two are gone completely. Windows were broken, doors blown off and all of the non-concrete structures were destroyed. The main building is still standing, though there was flooding throughout the building causing much damaged. All the books in the library are ruined, as are much of the furnishings and musical equipment. All the crops have been wiped out, and it sounds like at least half of the animals have been killed or are missing. Most of the exterior wall around the school was knocked down leaving no protection against theft or future storms.
It is difficult to be so far away from our friends and loved ones, not able to help the recovery efforts in person. We are keeping them all in our prayers and we ask for your prayers as well.
The need is great! Please consider giving to help rebuild.
Thank you so much,
Amy, with Nels and Lorrie