At first glance you may think this photo shows the devastation of the horrific tornadoes that struck the heartland of the USA in December but instead, this is of Super Typhoon Rai which swept over the Philippines about the same time.  Images from these storms are hauntingly similar. 
One way our Rotary family can respond to this crisis in the Philippines is through our Rotary Partner, ShelterBox.  Here is the communication DG Mike received from Bill Tobin, Rotary Relations Manager, regarding the response.
Disasters don't stop for the holidays, and late last week the Philippines was hit with a devastating super typhoon, causing massive destruction and deaths. Wind speeds reached 125 mph, the equivalent of a category 5 hurricane, and brought torrential rain and flooding to some of the poorest areas of the country.
We are extremely concerned about the situation in the Philippines. The super typhoon has displaced over 630,000 people. The death toll has risen to more than 200 people and initial reports suggest at least 55,000 homes have been damaged, with nearly 2 million people affected. This is one of the worst storms we have seen so far this year.
ShelterBox is responding to provide emergency shelter and other essential items to people who have lost their homes in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Rai tore across the country. We have aid stored locally, and our Philippines office is working hard on our initial assessments.
The typhoon, known locally as Odette, is the most severe storm to hit the Philippines this year – and one of the worst the world has seen in 2021. Damaged communication lines and fuel shortages are making needs assessments and travel extremely challenging – but our team in our Philippines office is working hard to understand the extent of the destruction.
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ShelterBox Chief Executive, Sanj Srikanthan said: “This deadly typhoon has left hundreds of thousands of people displaced just before Christmas and the damage to homes we are witnessing is truly harrowing. The Philippines is a country still rebuilding having been ravaged by storms far too often, but Typhoon Rai is on a scale our team there simply haven’t seen before. It’s left large areas of the country decimated, and we’re expecting the death toll and damage reports to get much worse.”
If you would like to support these disaster relief efforts, please go to their website