What is it like to be poor and caught in a natural disaster in the Philippines?
It’s heartbreaking, according to a Calgary man who just returned from the typhoon-torn region where he helped thousands of the millions left with nothing after the country was hit with the storm Sept. 23.
Samaritan’s Purse aid worker Bruce Piercey was the team leader in Manila after the disaster hit, where he helped to provide basic relief such as water, food and guidance to those hit the hardest.
“People are homeless, living out in the streets in the rain. We were trying to get them the basic necessities and out of the streets,” Piercey said.
“In a disaster of this size the needs are many. The relief tends to be unequally distributed with too much of one thing, like food, and not enough of others, like medicine, in different neighbourhoods,” he said of the challenges faced.
Piercey said it was estimated that up to two million people were seriously affected, and he believes one million people are still living in about four or five feet of water, refusing to leave.
“By some estimates, the water will not recede until December so this creates a large probability of a public health crisis.”