SILVER SPRING, MD (December 20, 2023) –The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is urgently mobilizing its resources to assist the communities affected by two recent earthquakes in Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, Philippines, that struck on December 2. The severe quakes with a magnitude ranging from 6.8 to 7.4, and over 8,000 aftershocks killed at least three persons and displaced more than 500,000 people over 334 barangays.
The Philippines has proclaimed a state of calamity in the region due to substantial disruptions in livelihoods and massive devastation of property, as well as roads and infrastructure. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), over 180,000 families and children have been affected, and more than 1,700 homes have been damaged. The ADRA Emergency Response Team has been dispatched to the devastated region to assess the scope of the disaster and identify the specific needs that are urgently needed.
“Our ADRA country office in the Philippines has been coordinating assessment and relief operations with government agencies and Adventist Community Services in the Northeastern Mindanao Mission. The teams on the ground have already distributed cash assistance in some of the most affected communities,” says Elizabeth Tomenko, ADRA International’s senior emergency program manager. “Psychological support is desperately needed. Adults and children have reported emotional distress, fear, and irritability. Many of the coastal regions have been ravaged; fishing communities have lost livelihoods because many of their boats, fishponds, and fish cages have been ruined; they need food and a way to restart their businesses, as well as shelter. ADRA is ready to provide affected communities with the assistance they require to recover from this disaster.”
The global humanitarian organization plans to provide food packs, cash for shelter repairs, and Psychological First Aid (PFA) kits, as well as train local community members on how to use PFAs to assist those facing trauma. ADRA will continue to work with trustworthy partners and local governments to get aid to the most vulnerable areas as soon as possible
The Need for Global Support
ADRA relies on community and faith-based supporters, as well as contributions from independent donors, to meet the humanitarian needs caused by natural catastrophes around the world. Aid must reach vulnerable areas affected by crises, and support for ADRA’s emergency relief initiatives is critical.
This holiday season, visit ADRA.org and become an ADRA Angel. Contribute to ADRA’s global disaster fund to assist families in need in the Philippines and around the world.