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'Please Help Us': Operation Blessing Delivers Aid to Island Communities After Deadly Philippines Cyclone

In this photo provided by Greenpeace, a family stands outside damaged homes due to Typhoon Rai in Surigao city, Surigao del Norte, southern Philippines on Sunday Dec. 19, 2021. (Jilson Tiu/Greenpeace via AP)

Super Typhoon Rai battered the central and southern Philippines on Thursday, killing at least 375 people. It left a trail of destruction affecting at least 490,000, including many who lost their homes and livelihood. Fifty-six people are reported as missing. 
Rai made its first landfall on the popular tourist destination island of Siargao in the southern Philippines, bringing heavy rain and a massive storm surge.

Crisly Laplana, a local resident, shared how she and her children were frightened of the very strong winds and the big waves that smashed their home along with other houses in their coastal village. 

"My three-year-old daughter was crying the whole night. It was very scary. We thought we would not make it," she told CBN News. "I am thankful that we survived. But we don't have food."

"The disaster food is spoiled because everything got wet when the roof of the evacuation center was blown away. Please help us. Please give us food," Laplana pleaded with the government.

CLICK HERE to donate to Operation Blessing's disaster relief efforts happening now. 

The slow-moving storm with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour made eight more landfalls across the region, destroying houses and farmlands, toppling trees, and causing massive power outages. 

Many residents were rescued as the waters quickly rose. Video of some of the rescues showed what appeared to be an infant in a tub being pushed by two members of the  Philippine Coast Guard through chest-deep water.  

The biggest challenge to helping victims is logistics as the island provinces have proven difficult to reach.

Operation Blessing teams have already responded to victims' needs. The teams traveled by land for more than 24 hours and then crossed the sea to the affected islands. OB teams have already reached some of the remote areas, bringing storm victims much-needed food supplies, mats, and blankets. 

Another OB team is partnering with the Philippine military to reach communities More disaster relief efforts are underway to help the people in these hard-hit communities. 

To find out more about Operation Blessing, CLICK HERE

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