Les Tilka, a pastor partnering with Samaritan’s Purse, is on the ground in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. He describes the situation around him as “utter devastation.”
Officials fear that more than 10,000 people may have died in the storm – among the strongest ever recorded. An estimated 450,000 people have been displaced.
“We've heard reports that people are walking around aimlessly, completely desperate,” says Dr. Natasha Reyes, the Philippines emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders.
Typhoon Haiyan, already ranking among Asia’s most destructive natural disasters in recent decades, swept through the Philippines on Friday, leaving death and destruction in its wake.
For veteran storm chaser James Reynolds, the havoc and horror of Typhoon Haiyan rivaled any storm he has ever seen.
“It was without a doubt the most catastrophic event I've witnessed before my eyes,” Reynolds said of his experience in Tacloban. “To actually go through a disaster as it takes place and then be there afterward just compares to nothing. It'll probably be the only time in my life.”
Samaritan’s Purse, among other nonprofit aid organizations, is on the ground in the Philippines, working to aid survivors of the storm.
“We’ve seen the kind of devastation storms like this can bring to lives,” Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham says. “We will do everything we can to provide for their needs. We’ll be there not only to provide survivors with physical aid, but also to share God’s love and bring hope to their communities.”