Super Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall in the Philippines on Saturday 15 September, as winds of 115 miles per hour carved a path of destruction across the main island of Luzon before continuing its Course towards China.
The storm toppled trees, stripped the roofs from houses and destroyed crops that were waiting to be harvested. There are many reports of flooding and devastating landslides.
Members of the MAF’s Disaster Response Team travelled to the Philippines ahead of the Super-Typhoon to offer their assistance in relief efforts.
On 16 September 2018, Mission Aviation Fellowship, in partnership with Ethnos360 and Wings Above Aircraft Inc., conducted an Aerial Survey of portions of the north eastern Philippines to assess the need.
The Wings Above Kodiak, with MAF’s Sharlene Coker, flew a low-level coastal survey flight from Subic bay. The area is remote and sparsely populated, and they saw little observable damage. They also surveyed the islands to the north of mainland Philippines, again reporting little observable damage.
MAF’s Vaughan Woodward accompanied Ethnos360 in their R44 helicopter to survey fishing villages on the east coast of Luzon where the storm had crossed.
In the village of Bolos Point where the helicopter touched down, homes and the church building were destroyed.
The villagers reported that their rice crops had been destroyed and many of the fishermen’s boats had been damaged.
With their main source of income gone, the community of 900 - 950 face the prospect of food insecurity if help does not arrive.
They also need shelter kits (tarpaulins and ropes) to secure housing and assistance to repair their water source - although a deep well in the village is currently supplying clean drinking water.
Similar needs were identified in the village of Valley Cove where many of the 800 - 1000 people had lost their rice crop and sustained damage to their housing and the village school.
Flying back to Tuguegarao, following the road from the north, the team observed a lot of standing water and damaged crops in the fields. Every corn field they saw was damaged or destroyed.
The road infrastructure remained largely intact however, with roads and bridges open and vehicles getting through.
- Praise God that communities were prepared for the storm and that communities at risk were evacuated. There have been relatively few reports of casualties compared to the devastation of Typhoon Hayian in 2013 when over 6,000 lives were lost.
- Pray for the coastal communities affected by the Typhoon as they embark on the clean-up operation and seek to rebuild their homes and livelihoods.
- Pray especially for famers who often go into debt to secure seeds and face the prospect of economic hardship without a harvest to sell.