Greetings from HCBN Asia!
It has been a very fruitful weekend for relief /recovery work for northern Panay by the RiverView SDA church, ACS, as well as by PAMAS and HCBN volunteers. Purchases of relief goods were done the whole of last Friday and after Sabbath morning services at RiverView, packing began.
The target to fill a boat load of relief goods was achieved by 7:30 pm and the boat pushed off for an 8 hr trip to Estancia, the Northeastern tip of Panay island where many coastal towns and islands all got the dreaded storm surge. Church members who joined the distribution in the islands of Bayas, Manipulon & Longinut, left RiverView church at 4 am Sunday. RiverView church members were met with two smaller boats (1 towed behind the big boat and the other one from Bayas island) and met the team at the Estancia Port. There are only a few boats available in the seas of Estancia as 90% of all sea craft were damaged or lost to Typhoon Haiyan.
More than 600 relief packs were orderly and systematically distributed to victims of Haiyan and by 3 pm the team was back at the Estancia Port after doing relief work in 3 different islands despite the last island having a very far and shallow approach that double handling had to be done to get goods on the ground.
Last Thursday, we were blessed to have been able to find & buy (8) 4×100 meter rolls of laminated sack cloth @P5,200 per roll that yielded 20 tarps of 4×5 meters that will serve as temporary shelter for our brethren in the direct path of the storm. Just to cut 1 roll of tarp to 20 pcs takes 30 minutes + printing & packing and transport to the airport and coordination on the ground led to the successful aerial drops to Sitio Salngan, & Sito Mabang, Sapa of Barangay (village) Dalicanan, and Passi City yesterday morning.
It is interesting to know that out of the 17 sacks of temporary shelters dropped from the PAMAS plane with a local guy (ding dong) from the drop zone, 4 of them landed right inside the damaged SDA church.
It is a pity the the media has compared Roxas City to Tacloban, which both we cannot compare. Roxas was not directly hit and does not need that much help! The reports were wrong and they have built an impression that Central and Northern Panay does not need help as much as Tacloban does. I hope that the disaster organizations can look back at the path of Haiyan and realize that it was signal 5 that hit northern Panay. The towns, villages and Municipalities of central Panay are those that are hard hit and need help but almost all the aid from Iloilo just pass thru these towns and head towards Roxas City. Many many people need help and it is a great opportunity to help but let us get our prayers together so we can reach these people. Please pray that this information will get to the decision makers of relief operations of the government as well as other relief organizations.
The major difference in casualties was that the storm passed Tacloban when it was dark and Panay at noon. The people of Panay were able to see while fleeing from the disaster. As for storm surge, Panay got it as well, and sustained the same damage and therefor needs the same help that Tacloban is getting!
We will try to give you information in form of videos and pictures as soon as we are able to get them.
Again, thanks for all the help and prayers!