MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The situation is turning desperate in the Philippines as help is slowly starting to arrive. Millions of residents are struggling to survive the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan. Almost 2,000 are dead and it’s a number that’s certain to rise.
The Typhoon damaged or destroyed an estimated 23,000 homes displacing more than 600,000 people. Many of the dead remain unburied and severe food and water shortages are adding to the crisis.
On Tuesday, Filipino military struggled to keep order at Tacloban’s airport. Approximately 800,000 people were evacuated in advance of the typhoon and many of those who remained are now trying to get out.
Aid organizations, like the Red Cross, are beginning to arrive. The U.S. Military is also flying in tons of food, water and other supplies, but local doctors say they are running low on medicine.
WCCO caught up with two Minnesotan volunteers Tuesday morning as they began 24 hours of travel to help the victims of the typhoon.
The American Refugee Committee (ARC) is sending Mark Jackson and Graham Eastmond into the heart of the damage.
Eastmond is from Mahtomedi and Jackson is a Macalester College alum.Both have years of combined experience helping with international relief and emergency response in more than 20 countries.
Eastmond says it’s important to start relief efforts as soon as possible.
“It’s just about making people as safe and secure as they can right now, so that they can then lend themselves to the recovery effort,” Eastmond said.
The ARC provides life-saving care to more than 2.5 million people who have survived conflict or disaster throughout Africa and Asia. The Organization plans to send more volunteers as soon as possible, about three.