Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cagayan de Oro floods

A further update today from Eric and Sandra in Mindenao. Water supply is a critical need as the main water supply pipe for Cagayan De Oro was destroyed in the flood and the authorities are trying to get water in by tanker lorries.  But there is intermittent supply in some parts of the city.   Eric is involved with his local church in receiving and setting up at least one water filtration unit as part of addressing this need. For this he is coordinating with Marlon  (who is based in Manila ) who is arranging for the supply of this unit in the next 1-2 days.

 It is now known that over a 1000 lost their lives in the flooding.  There are so many urgent practical relief needs and Eric and Sandra are hoping that some of their friends and supporters can send in some support through CMS to help in the local response.
 Please continue to pray 

In maybe 90% of the city, everything is normal and normal life goes on.  
In the remaining 10%, people are crowded into schools and sports centres 
for shelter, they spend their days recovering whatever they can from 
what used to be their homes, queuing for water or food or other relief 
goods as they come, bathing at the side of the road and presumably 
trying to think about what they will do now.  Many will also be mourning 
for loved ones.

Yet through all of this I (Eric) am amazed and humbled at how calm and 
how cheerful people are.  People are chatting and laughing as though 
everything is normal.  They form orderly queues and wait patiently their 
turn.  If they miss out this time they just say, OK we;ll wait for the 
next lot.  I have yet to hear a word of anger or even irritation. Yet 
these are people many of whom have lost everything, including members of 
their families and who are unlikely to have a house of their own for 
months or even years.

Water is a major problem now in much of the city, they are using fire 
engines to deliver it.  One of the major supplies used to cross the 
river on a mini version of the Tyne bridge.  It is now a twisted heap of 
steel.  It must have been a massive rush of water to do all the damage 
it has done and so dramatically change the shape of the river.  
Everything is covered in a thick layer of mud, we helped some friends 
recover what they could from their house, absolutely everything

Eric has been asked to help one church assemble and set up a water 
filtration unit which is being lent by a church in Manila.  We visted 
one of the possible sites for it today and met one of Peter's school 
friends.  His mother told us he doesn't want to go outside wandering 
around any more now.  He did go down near the river with Peter though, 
so hopefully is fear will subside.  The filter is due to arrive tomorrow 
or Friday.

There are many needs, both short and longer term.  Different churches 
and organisations are helping however they can.  Pastor Lapiz (who leads 
the bible study in our house) church is feeding about 500 people a day 
in the nearest relief centre (a covered basketball court) and they plan 
to continue as long as they have funds.  We have given them a box of 
clothes and a sack of rice.  They are cooking 150kg rice a day costing 
about £70 plus some meat (in total about 30 - 35p per person per day). 
People also have needs for basics like saucepans, water containers, 
basins etc.  Sandra's sister is sending some money for us to put 
together bags sweets and fruit for the children for Christmas.

If you would like to make a donation to help people please send it to 
CMS, marking clearly it is for the Cagayan de Oro floods.

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