PHILIPPINES – On November, 8, 2013 the small, tropical Philippine archipelago experienced the strongest ever-recorded typhoon, known internationally as Typhoon Haiyan, locally referred to as Yolanda.
The eye of the massive category 5 typhoon passed over Eastern Samar and Leyte, decimating everything in its path. The death toll has now reached over 5,000 with over 13 million people affected by the storm’s wrath. With an already fragile, even non-existent, infrastructure efforts to get relief goods and services into affected regions has posed to be a challenge. A corrupt government with numerous officials concerned with lining their own pockets or winning an election, recovery efforts thru the Philippine government has proven to be excruciatingly slow. However, with international attention and aid coming in from all over the world, hope is in the future.
Many smaller philanthropic organizations have become aware of the tragedy and have made it their mission to assist in relief efforts. One company, The Surf Institute (TSI), has spent the last couple of years building a network revolved around sharing the stoke of surfing, both in and out of the Philippines. An important facet of the organization is their focus on offering support, assistance, and/or education in an effort to enrich and positively change lives. Among other things, the TSI team focuses their energy on providing areas of need with clean drinking water filters.
When news came in of the catastrophic destruction in the typhoon-stricken Visayan region, the team was quick to react and made arrangements to get on the ground. Within days, the TSI crew was organized and en route to Eastern Samar, one of the first areas to be struck by the intense weather system. Obtaining air transport through Alphaland, the mission set off from Manila to arrive at Guiuan airport – the only functional airport in Eastern Samar.
From Guiuan to Calicoan to Sulangan, the group distributed 30 units to locations that were in dire need, as well as safe and secure. Despite the widespread devastation, the spirit of the local people was high and happy. Healing has already begun.
The TSI team plans to continue their efforts in both Guiuan, as well as in other areas that were affected and have yet to receive assistance.
For more info or to show your support… MISSION:cleanWATER – Super Typhoon Haiyan