Tacloban is located on the island of Leyte, which is currently cut off in the wake of Friday's storm. Despite poor communications, our Children's Village in Tabloban was able to establish contact with our head office in the capital Manila.
We are pleased to report that all SOS families and staff remain unharmed. However, the Children's Village was damaged in the typhoon. Due to the poor communications, we have scant information on the scale of the damage.
Help on its way from other Children's Villages
In spite of the severity of Typhoon Haiyan, all other Children's Villages in the affected region emerged from the storm unscathed. All children and mothers from our locations in Calbayog, Cebu and Iloilo are all safe inside the Villages.
Staff from our Children's Village in Calbayog are currently making the four-hour journey to Tacloban to provide support in Tacloban, as are staff from our Village in Cebu. Tacloban remains largely inaccessible, and all flights between Tacloban and the capital have been cancelled. However, our head office is planning relief so that help can be provided as soon as access is restored.
An unprecedented natural disaster
News is slow to emerge from Tacloban due to the damage to infrastructure. However, we know that the city itself suffered severe damage in the storm, with many people dead and numerous buildings destroyed, and the storm surge brought 15 feet of floodwater into the city. The Filipino government are currently attempting to enter Tacloban to provide rescue and relief.
Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most powerful storms to strike land since records began. A category 5 super typhoon with wind speeds estimated at 195mph at landfall, it brought devastation to much of the central Philippines. The island of Leyte suffered particurly badly, and hundreds are thought to have died across the country.
SOS Children has worked in the Philippines since 1964. Read more about our work here...