Two months after Typhoon Bopha struck the Philippines, taking more than 1,000 lives and affected more than 6 million people, the Red Cross is helping those impacted by the disaster recover.
Mary Chris Limbwasan has been living in an evacuation center run by the Philippine Red Cross with her husband and 18-month-old daughter Nicole since the storm hit.
“The typhoon was very strong,” she said. “I saw coconut trees falling and the floodwater getting near our house. My father told me to evacuate but I hesitated because my husband was not with us. I was afraid to go by myself with my child.”
“I was carrying my child and the wind almost blew us. The flood almost swept us. Fortunately, someone pulled us to safety. If no one had held us, the wind and waters would have definitely taken us both,” she said.
Immediately following the storm, the Philippine Red Cross - with the support of the American Red Cross - distributed food and relief supplies. They also helped to provide clean water through the use of water purification units, tanks and bladder tanks.
The Philippine Red Cross continues to respond to needs in communities across the affected region, and providing shelter remains a key priority – particularly for families that are still residing in evacuation centers.
“We received a lot from the Red Cross, such as rice and canned goods,” Mary Chris said. “They really helped a lot and I am very thankful to Red Cross for that. Without their support, we wouldn’t survive. They provided free check-ups, medicines and vitamins.”
The Philippine Red Cross has also taught her how to be prepared for next time by teaching her to read warnings before a disaster strikes. A signal level 3 means it is time to evacuate.
“A mother like me should always be prepared,” Mary Chris said. “For my child’s safety.”