The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF) is releasing an initial grant of $15,000 and is accepting donations to help tens of thousands of families who were affected by a devastating tropical storm that flooded 80 per cent of the Philippines’ capital, Metro Manila, and its neighbouring areas.
More than 240 people have been reported killed and more than 450,000 driven from their homes after tropical storm Ketsana (locally known as “Ondoy”) dumped a month’s worth of rainfall in six hours on Sept. 26, said Action by Churches Together (ACT) International. ACT is a coalition of church-based groups that responds to natural disasters and humanitarian crises, of which PWRDF, the Anglican Church of Canada’s relief and development arm, is a member.
There are fears that the number of victims will rise as a second tropical cyclone is forming that may affect the same areas that are still reeling from Ketsana.”Waters rose so fast that people living in low-lying areas were caught unawares and had to stay on the roofs of their houses to avoid being swept away from the floods,” said ACT in an alert issued to its partner agencies. “…Waters have not yet completely subsided.”The storm left some areas of Metro Manila, a city of 12 million people, under 20 feet of water, reported Ecumenical News International. More than 1.8 million people were affected by the flashfloods and landslides, reported Bloomberg News.
The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP), a local ACT member and long-standing PWRDF partner, has been helping thousands of families who have lost relatives, homes, and properties. Roman Catholic and Protestant churches have offered their chapels and schools as evacuation centers and delivered relief goods to affected areas.Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon has offered Canada’s condolences to the people of the Philippines. “On behalf of all Canadians, I offer condolences to those who have lost friends or family members in this tragic natural disaster,” said Cannon in a statement.
The Philippine government has declared a “state of calamity” for Metro Manila and other parts of the island of Luzon.
Donations may be designated as “Philippines floods” and sent to PWRDF at 80 Hayden St. , Toronto, Ont., M4Y 3G2. They can also be sent electronically through CanadaHelps.
For credit card donations, contact Ricky de Castro, PWRDF grants administrator, at 1-866-308-7973 or at (416) 924-9199 ext. 318.