A category-5 typhoon hit the eastern islands in the Philippines on Nov. 8.
Typhoons are tropical cyclones that develop west of the international date line; also known as hurricanes east of the line.
With a span of 370 miles and winds speeds of 195 mph, Typhoon Haiyan was the most powerful storm to touch land, making it not only devastating but also historic.
As of Nov. 18, the Philippine government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council totaled the deaths with 3,976 people and 1,598 still missing. The death rates continue to rise as wreckage is cleared from devastated regions, including Tacloban, the city hardest hit by the typhoon.
The typhoon, which was 3.5 times more vicious than Hurricane Katarina in 2005, was the second deadliest typhoon in the Philippines’ history. The number of injured people totals 18,175.
Daniel Pagteilan, a sophomore nursing major who personally lived in the Philippines for the first few years of his life, was shaken when he first heard the news.
“I was incredibly shocked that it was a hurricane of this size. I felt sad and actually confused,” said Pagtelian. “I wasn’t expecting a storm to hit the Philippines. That’s my homeland.”
According to the United Nations, the destruction left about four million residents homeless, without food and water.
Global relief aid has been distributed throughout the affected areas by numerous nations, including the U.S. and Canada.
Although the global response has provided notable progress in overall aid, water-born illnesses, dehydration and starvation are issues still growing.
NBC reported that residents of Tanauan had not received aid until one week after the storm, leaving survivors with little food and limited drinking water.
Under these conditions, survivors had to manage the dead bodies of their own communities for days before international aid arrived.
In response to the catastrophe, ORU students, faculty and staff gave their support to send meals to the Philippines.
During a recent chapel service, ORU donated $5,905.69 to purchase 20,000 meals through partnering with Convoy of Hope.
UNICEF is also on the ground delivering emergency aid, immunizations, food and clean water to victims.
Pagtelian remains hopeful for the nation of the Philippines and encourages others to continue to pray for the rescue and restoration of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan.
“When stuff like this happens, you generally don’t know what to expect of it, especially the devastation,” said Pagtelian. “Continue to keep the Philippines in your prayers. [Pray] especially for the government, because there is very well-known, widespread corruption in the government, and that they’ll get the resources to the people that need it the most.”