TACLOBAN, Philippines – Philippine president Benigo Aquino has declared a state of calamity in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Towns have been destroyed, coastlines have disappeared. See .
The death toll is at 10,000 so far, but is expected to go much higher. Some areas in central Philippines are desolate, it's too soon to assess the damage, though this is a disaster as bad as the 2004 tsunami that devastated so much of South and Southeast Asia.
People are understandably desperate: According to the BBC, some 630,000 have been displaced. More than nine million people have been affected and are in dire need of help, and that count will rise as the typhoon continues on its path into China. Goverments and international agencies are responding. Here's how you can help:
On the ground since 2000, their teams are already distributing safe drinking water and survival kits with buckets, soap, and chlorine tablets. Providing clean water will be a priority in the next few weeks. .
Emergency teams are already on the ground. and three cargo planes carrying 329 tons of medical and relief items are en route. Supplies include medical kits and vaccines, tents and hygiene kits, kitchen and shelter kits (plates, rope, hammers, nails), generators, water treatment material, latrine slabs, and mobile office and communication equipment. An inflatable hospital will arrive later in the week. .
The organization's priorities will be to provide clean water, safe sanitation, and shelter. .
The local branch is working in conjunction with the International Red Cross and is accepting donations online via PayPal or credit cards. 100 PHP Philippine peso equals approximately $2.30 US dollars. .
They are undertaking disaster relief to help children and families in the Philippines, Laos, and Vietnam. Text DONATE to 20222 to donate $10 or .
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. They are mobilizing to reach the millions who are in need. .
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