Super Typhoon Rai Rips Through the Philippines

Samaritan’s Purse is providing urgently needed relief to storm victims.

Super Typhoon Rai pummelled the island nation of the Philippines from 16-17 December, with winds exceeding 165 miles an hour causing major destruction and leaving at least 140 people dead and 230 missing.

The typhoon—known locally as Odette—was comparable to what would be referred to as a Category 5 hurricane. The storm’s worst damage occurred in Bohol and Cebu provinces and surrounding areas, which are home for nearly 16 million people. Landslides and flash floods that were responsible for much of the tragic loss of life also left thousands of houses destroyed. In addition, hundreds of towns lost power and service has been restored to only a small fraction of these locations since.

The Samaritan’s Purse country office in the Philippines quickly deployed 18 staff members who are working with local church partners to meet the urgent needs of those suffering in the wake of this storm. We are providing emergency food and water, as well as family and hygiene packs and emergency shelter repair kits—with plans to reach thousands of families through these combined efforts. Our ongoing work is serving five of the hardest hit areas, including the provinces of Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Bohol, and Cebu.

Samaritan’s Purse staff distributes desperately needed relief supplies to residents of Surigao Del Norte.

Samaritan’s Purse staff distributes desperately needed relief supplies to residents of Surigao Del Norte.

While nearly 20 storms or typhoons generally hit the Philippines each year, many local reports consider the damage from Rai to be similar to that of Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which claimed over 6,000 lives in November 2013. Samaritan’s Purse has been working continuously in the Philippines since our initial 2013 disaster relief response.

Please pray for those affected by the storm and for Samaritan’s Purse staff members and partners as they serve them in Jesus’ Name.

Please pray for the nation of the Philippines as they recover from this destructive storm.

Please pray for the nation of the Philippines as they recover from this destructive storm.

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