Typhoon Haiyan and Bohol Earthquake Aftermath: Millions of Filipinos Might Need Relief Goods for Months?

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Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has already left the Philippines for days but the devastation is still felt up to now. Even the destruction left by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol that happened on October 15, 2013, almost a month before Typhoon Haiyan hit is not yet over. And, it will probably be felt not only in the coming days, but for the next few months as well. As the Philippines struggles with the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan and the earthquake in Bohol, it looks like millions of Filipinos might need relief goods for months.

Despite all the help the Philippines has been receiving both locally and internationally, it seems that it would take much longer for the Filipinos to recover and rebuild their lives after these traumatic incidents that happened back-to-back in neighboring areas.

Bohol hasn't fully recovered from the shock of the earthquake that rocked their town, including frequent aftershocks. And now that Typhoon Haiyan happened, it has added to the shock and the need of people to have food, water, clothing and shelter all the more.

The Philippines is used to experiencing natural calamities, especially typhoons which occur about three to five times every year. However, Haiyan (Yolanda) was not an ordinary typhoon. It was a Super Typhoon which is said to be the strongest one in the world.

"What is different with Supertyphoon Haiyan (called Yolanda in the Philippines) is the unexpected level of storm surge and flooding, combined with sustained winds that exceeded 196 m.p.h. (315 km/h) with gusts far higher. The government is struggling to reach communities hit by one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall," noted John Crowley in his TIME Magazine report.

It doesn't help that the airport, seaport and roads going to and from the affected areas are destroyed, with most being impassable. It adds to the problem of getting the relief goods as soon as possible to the survivors, before they die of hunger, thirst, cold, disease and overall desperation.

The World Food Program (WFP) estimates that around 2.5 million people will need food assistance for at least six months. In fact, WFP is asking for approximately US$88.2 million for food assistance and about US$12.8 million for emergency telecommunications and logistics operations over the next six months in areas hit by the typhoon.

"People have lost their homes and livelihoods, and the damage to infrastructure is substantial. Our thoughts are with the families affected by this terrible storm, and WFP is ready to assist in any way it can," said Praveen Agrawal, WFP Representative and Country Director in a WFP report.

According to a report by Roberto A. Ferdman of Quartz, WFP senior spokesperson Steve Taravella told them that the WFP has already provided some food assistance to Manila, Philippines which includes nearly half a million high energy biscuits (HEBs).

"Now the challenge is getting them from Manila to where the need is greatest," Taravella said.

The Typhoon Haiyan and Bohol earthquake aftermath might have caused millions of Filipinos to need relief goods for months. But thanks to the outpouring of help from all corners of the world, both local and international, the Philippines will slowly but surely recover from this ordeal.

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