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When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines

12th December, 2014

Typhoon Haiyan is the most devastating natural disasters to have hit the Philippines, leaving in its wake more than 6,000 dead and millions injured and displaced

One of the most powerful storms ever recorded, Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) struck the Philippines on 8th - 9th November 2013. Its 300 mph winds flattened buildings, wrecked transport, cut off power supplies and turned once-thriving communities into debris.

According to the Philippines government, there were:

6,300 deaths as a result of Haiyan
16 million people were affected
4.1 million people were displaced
1.1 million homes were damaged or destroyed.

The number of deaths mounted rapidly as rescue and emergency teams gained access to affected areas. In the capital of the worst affected province, Tacloban City, local government officials found a mass grave of between 300 to 500 people.

Many of those suffering were already among the most needy and their lives were devastated by Haiyan, leaving them even more in dire need of food, clean drinking water, medical supplies and emergency shelter.

Islamic Help launched an emmediate emergency appeal to help those suffering as they struggled to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of Haiyan. The appeal was to address their critical need for food, water, emergency shelter and medical help as they battled for survival.

Islamic Help responded to the Typhoon Haiyan disaster with an emergency response operation, with team members flying out to the crisis zones to distribute aid. The first of these was in the island province of Cebu, one of the most gravely affected areas. Residents' homes had been destroyed and they were left without food, water and medical help in the devastation.

With the availability of clean drinking water a major problem, the first stage of our operation was to provide water purification tablets, ensuring communities could have access to that most basic of needs.

In the eastern Philippines city of Tacloban, which bore some of the heaviest brunt of the damage, bodies were still being pulled from the debris more than two weeks after Haiyan struck. Most of the have been buried in mass graves, with many of the bodies unidentified.

The Islamic Help team set up water distribution and supply points to provide water which had been desalinated (salt removed) by US marines, making it clean to drink.

With debris having contaminated wells that were the main supply of water for many communities, Islamic Help distributed aqua tabs which people could drop into bottles to purify the water and make it clean to drink.

In just two weeks after Haiyan first hit the Philippines, Islamic Help was able to help more than nearly 90,000 individuals and is distributing 2.8 million aqua tabs throughout the disaster zones.