Red Cross can help locate typhoon survivors

Filipinos in the Cayman Islands who have been unable to contact family members in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan are being urged to contact the Cayman Islands Red Cross for assistance. 

Cayman’s large Filipino community has been impacted by the record breaking storm with some reporting that they have been unable to locate loved ones in the disaster hit city of Tacloban. 

The Cayman Islands Red Cross, which launched an appeal for donations to the relief effort on Wednesday, says it will use its network of contacts to try and find missing family members for Filipinos living here. 

“We are able to send messages from family members in the Cayman Islands who are looking for their loved ones in the Philippines to our partner Red Cross organizations working in the disaster areas to restore family links,” said disaster manager Danielle Coleman.  

“We urge anyone who has not been able to locate or get any news on someone who may have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan to get in touch with our office.” 

Both the Red Cross and the Cayman Islands Philippines consulate have set up accounts for people to make donations to the disaster relief effort. 

The Red Cross is urging those who wish to help to contribute cash rather than supplies in order to avoid complicating a multi-national relief effort, which authorities in the Philippines have already described as the “biggest logistical challenge” the country has ever faced.  

“We would like to thank the public, who as always have been coming forward to find ways that they can help the victims of this horrific disaster,” stated Jondo Obi, director of the Red Cross in the Cayman Islands. “We will be concentrating our efforts on raising funds as this will allow those on the ground to be able to respond more effectively and efficiently to the changing needs of the affected population.” 

Carolina Ferreira, deputy director, said cash donations were far more effective and efficient that collection drives for supplies. 

She said there was an added layer of cost and manpower associated with transportation of supplies that would be better diverted elsewhere. 

She said: “People’s hearts are in the right place, but if we look back at our experience following Hurricane Ivan we received a lot of donations that were unsuitable for our population and the time that was spent claiming, transporting, sorting and essentially tossing unsuitable donations would have been better spent else assisting the most vulnerable.  

“We’ve been through it. We know what it’s like, so it’s important for to us to do our part and not cause any unnecessary stress for those who are burdened by this catastrophe. 

Arturo Ursua, honorary consul for the Philippines in Cayman, agreed, urging people to donate cash to the relief effort. 

He said: “At the present time, I believe that donating in cash is the most practical and expedient way to send to the affected areas.” 

He said money donated through a specially established account would go to the Archdiocese of Palo in Leyte with jurisdiction over Tacloban City and 53 other parishes, as well as the Diocese of Borongan in Samar with jurisdiction over 31 parishes. 

Former Premier McKeeva Bush has also urged Caymanians to assist their Filipino neighbors in any way they can. He said: “I want to ask anyone who can to do whatever possible in offering any kind of assistance to the people in the Philippines to do so. In particular, if there are any persons resident or persons working in the Cayman Islands who have family affected.” 

Philippine President Benigno Aquino has declared a state of national calamity to speed relief efforts for the victims. 

 

Concert for a Cause: Repeat Performance  

The Believers Talent Expo 2013, which recently held a “Great is His Faithfulness” concert, is sponsoring a repeat performance for the benefit of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. 

The concert will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Harquail Theater. It will feature local artists, the Filipino Church from Jesus the Anointed One Church, Filipino Band and performers from various churches, as well as local Christian artists. 

“… A time like these should unite people here in the Cayman Islands to put together something as a relief aid for the people of the Philippines,” said Pastor Bong Edgar Abat. “It might not be big, but at least the love shared together will mean a lot. 

“This kind of concert will not only encourage people to help, but will bring comfort to each of us that after the storm there will always be a hope, and a good future ahead of us is waiting.”  

Tickets for the concert are $10. Donation tickets in the amounts of $10, $15, $25 and $50 are now available at various stores. During the concert, there will be an ongoing fundraising effort and phone-in monetary donation campaign.  

Monetary donations can be deposited to Cayman National Bank account number KYD (CI) account – #012 36872 or USD account – # 022 23228 with designation: HAIYAN VICTIM. 

For more information, please call Pastor Bong on 925-8404, Azel Padua on 925-7009, or Lita Ebanks on 926-3651. 

For help locating loved ones, contact [email protected]dcross.org.ky.  

 

To donate:  

Use the Philippines consul Butterfield Bank relief account, Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), KYD Account 136 147 992 0035, USD Account 840 147 992 0047 or the Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan account at Butterfield Bank, KYD Account 1360350540027, USD Account 840350540039. 

 

For more information on how to donate through the Red Cross, call 949-6785 or email [email protected] 

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A soldier carries a day-old baby to a waiting military transport plane Wednesday from the damaged Tacloban airport at Tacloban city, Leyte province, in central Philippines. – Photo: AP
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