Around the same time the malls in the Philippines begin hanging their Christmas decorations in late September, the ADRA emergency response team unconsciously begins to brace for the onset of emergency responses that is expected to occur.
People never know when or where the storms are going to hit, but team has learned to be prepared to spring into action when they do.
When Tropical Depression Karding began forming outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility on the morning of September 22, no one was really paying much attention to it.
Karding went through an explosive intensification, breaking into the Super Typhoon category with 195km winds before slamming into Polillo Island, in the province of Quezon, and barreling its way across central Luzon on the afternoon of September 25.
The path of STY “Karding” took it across a highly populated area just slightly north of Metro Manila, affecting close to 1.5 million people, damaging 108 thousand houses, and destroying close to 3 billion pesos worth of agriculture. ADRA, together with Adventist Community Services from Central Luzon Conference, quickly took action, and was able to bring cash assistance to 1,020 families in Cabiao and Gapan, Nueva Ecija, and Dingalan, Aurora a week later.
Tropical Depressions Maymay and Neneng passed through northern Luzon afterwards and caused massive flooding across the country. The constant rain and thunderstorms triggered a flash flood in Cagayan de Oro on October 16, affecting 4,237 people and causing half of them to flee their homes.
The rapid assessment and validation conducted by the Adventist Community Services volunteers of the North Central Mindanao Mission (NCMC) and the ADRA team right after the floods subsided enabled the team to identify the most vulnerable of the affected families.
And on October 20, ADRA and ACS returned to Brgy. Bugo, bringing cash assistance to 480 of them. As the year comes to a close, we brace ourselves for stronger storms that is yet to come.
But when do, we praise God for the many donors that continue to send their financial support, which allows us to respond and provide relief assistance to the victims of these disasters, over and over again.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians –21)