, news editor, Adventist Review
The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is distributing emergency shelter kits in northern Philippines after a devastating typhoon killed at least 54 people and displaced nearly half a million others.
Typhoon Koppu made landfall on the Philippines’ largest and most populated island, Luzon, on Sunday, flattening homes and causing flooding in a slow-moving weather system that pummeled the country's north for several days.
ADRA set out to deliver emergency shelter kits to people in the isolated towns of Dinalungan and Casiguran in the northern Aurora province on Thursday while exploring further needs.
“Based on a rapid assessment, more than 4,000 families have anywhere from partial to totally damaged houses, therefore making housing the greatest need,” the Adventist Church’s Southern Asia-Pacific Division, whose headquarters are on Luzon Island, said in a statement.
ADRA distributed 1,000 emergency shelter kits to homeless families in other parts of the Aurora province earlier this week.
The shelter kits contain a tarp, a bucket, and carpentry tools.
“This will ease overcrowding for survivors who have been staying in the remaining homes of relatives and friends,” the division statement said.
It is unclear how many people have been left homeless across northern Philippines. Authorities said about 500,000 people were displaced by the typhoon, although some have started to return to their muddied and sometimes flattened homes. News reports put the climbing death toll at 54 on Thursday.
ADRA’s Philippines office asked for prayers as its workers navigated badly damaged roads to deliver the shelter kits.
“Please keep us in your prayers as our additional team travel through typhoon-hit roads!” it said on its Facebook page.