krizAfter making landfall in Dolores, Samar on Saturday night, Typhoon Hagupit has hit several more towns in the Samar region. It is expected to move through the central islands before touching the greater Manila area and exiting westward on Wednesday. Although no longer super-typhoon status, affected areas are seeing intense rain, flooding, landslides, and storm surges in the coastal areas. Over 1,000,000 people have been evacuated, and the storm’s path is set to affect over 40,000,000 as it moves now with 165 Km/h winds.

Our Field Operations team, led by Kriz Cruzado, had an intense night in Ormoc, and will be conducting ground assessments in effected areas in the following days. Many people are in emergency shelter areas, where conditions are not ideal but safety is greater. Common needs among the people are food, medical supplies, and repair kits. Emergency response has been more effective this year, and even though the destruction has been high, loss of life so far has not.

Join with us in praying for the country and our volunteers. Kriz’s updates from her facebook page today follow:

2455H (December 6th):
No more update from anyone. Everything is so dark, i couldn’t see anything, except for a flash of lightning. The rain hasn’t stopped a bit, the wind is now very violent. It’s strength could blow roofs and makeshifts away. It’s making weird sound akin to a ferry boat that is about to dock.

For the first time in this entire Typhoon Ruby craze, I felt fear! I couldn’t imagine the trauma and the panic of the people in the evacuation centers, especially in places where Ruby hit the hardest. I wish morning comes soon.

0630H: Update from Ormoc

Thank you so much for your prayers. We have survived the night.

There’s no electricity yet and the lashing of rain and the strength of the wind remain the same as last night. I could see tin roofs from afar being ripped apart and flown away.

My team and I are okay, as well as our hosts. We still could not get out of the house.

1200H: Update from Ormoc

The rain continues to pour down and it has caused flooding in some parts of Ormoc like Barangay Liloan, Libertad, and San Isidro. We passed by Sitio Haubon in San Isidro and visited an evacuation site where 13 families have temporarily took shelter. Some of them were rescued last night by the Philippine Red Cross when the vast rice field became swollen with water coming from Tongonan Mountain. The evacuation center is not livable at all! The floor is very wet from the drippings coming from the ceiling. Since there’s only little space that is dry, the evacuees take turn in sleeping.

The team is now heading to Lawaan, Eastern Samar to meet the PAR – DRN in the area. We will be going to Dolores, Eastern Samar, where Typhoon Ruby made a landfall, tomorrow.Next update will be in the evening, if there’s internet connection. I need to conserve my battery for calling.

1730: Update from Tacloban

My team and I arrived in Tacloban after a swift assessment from Ormoc to Basey, Western Samar.

We are currently ravaging my cupboards in my house for any food to eat as there’s no single eatery that opened today. Currently, my house is under water. My front window is broken and all the documents I posted on the wall are torn into pieces. I’m glad I have evacuated to Ormoc.

Tomorrow, we will continue our swift assessment in Lawaan, Calbayog, Catbalogan and Dolores.

At the same time, three members of our PAR-DRN Team in Palomlon, Ptr. Billy Niaceg, Ptr. Ricardo Tan, and Bro. Arnold Arapoc, are doing their own assessment in evacuation centers in Palompon. They will do the same in Merida and Isabel. All three of them are trained on Basic First-Aid, so they could easily apply their skills when needed, as they do the assessment.

Well, it’s dark here, too and we are so tired following a sleepless night and a day of travel. All we want is a warm bed, so we are heading back to Ormoc now to find one. Update anout the swift assessment will follow later.

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