Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Finishes What the 7.2 Earthquake Started

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Trek Outcollapsed home, taking it in

Typhoon Haiyan, Leyte                                           7.2 Earthquake, Bohol

Photos from Leyte after the typhoon.

Less than ONE month after the devastating earthquake that shattered Bohol, typhoon Haiyan slammed into Leyte in the central Philippines.  These two places just happen to be where IDEA has been operating deaf schools and businesses run by the Deaf for the past 30 years.  The impact has been horrible to say the least.

One month after the initial October 15 mega quake that hit the center of the island of Bohol, we are still feeling daily aftershocks.  The epicenter of the quake was actually in the town of Sagbayan where IDEA operates a deaf school in conjunction with the Philippines government.  Many thousands of people are still living in tents beside their fractured or fallen homes.

Earthquake Photos In Bohol

And then, Haiyan took aim on Bohol.  The eye of the typhoon was expected to pass right over Bohol but instead it veered slightly north and wiped out much of central and northern Leyte.  The news media has shown the horrific images coming from the capital city of Tacloban and now is starting to report on how it affected the other major city of Ormoc, Leyte.  It has suffered almost as much damage as Tacloban and happens to be where IDEA also operates a school for the Deaf in conjunction with the government.

typhoon victims rush for aid

typhoon victims rush for aid

IDEA’s initial reaction to both calamities has been to help to distribute food and water to the victims. Next we need to know if our students and staff are safe.  This is actually an ongoing task on Bohol and Leyte as communication links via cell phones and landlines have gone down.  Most roads are badly fractured, bridges down, or covered with debris.  This makes it very difficult for us to reach the kids to assess their situations.  Our IDEA teams are mounting small motorcycles that can be carried in canoes across rivers and lifted over fallen trees to reach these kids.

We are happy to report that all of our teachers and dorm parents are safe although most of them in these areas have lost their homes.

IDEA unique position to help:

On Bohol, IDEA has been slowly building up a trained construction team of deaf men over the past 25 years.  These guys are professionals.  Immediately after the earthquake, we had our team begin making emergency housing from local materials, coconut lumber and woven bamboo walling.  We set them up for IDEA staff members who lost their houses in the quake and were forced to live in tents.  It soon became apparent that we needed to do this for over 100 of our IDEA deaf family members so we converted our newly completed shop into a prefab home factory.  There are over 12,000 families on Bohol who lost their homes and 6,000 of those families have no means to rebuild and need temporary homes to move into until they can get on their feet.  IDEA has taken on the challenge to build 2000 of these homes.  Habitat for Humanity is also building 2000 homes.

Emergency Housing for Quake Victims


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Response to typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda):

Our Leyte coordinator was able to make a five-hour motorcycle drive to Ormoc, Leyte from his home in southern Leyte just two days after the typhoon.  It was a difficult journey weaving through fallen power lines and downed trees.  When he arrived at our deaf school housed on the public high school campus, he found extensive damage and could not locate any of the IDEA staff.  Days later now, all the staff have been accounted for.

Home of one of our Ormoc teachers:

Damage to IDEA School in Ormoc:

Here is our strategy for helping in Leyte:

  1. Repair our dormitory and classrooms so that they can be used as refugee centers.
  2. Stabilize our teachers and staff so they can then help take care of others.  This will include trauma counseling and counseling training.
  3. Locate all the students and assess their family situations.
  4. Bring the deaf kids back to the repaired Ormoc dormitory facility where they can be fed and cared for.
  5. Help the families of our deaf rebuild their homes.
  6. Restart classes as soon as possible to return some sense of normalcy to the children.
  7. Reach out to those outside of the IDEA family to help them with Transitional housing.

Please join us in our efforts to help as many victims of both the earthquake and the typhoon as possible.  Any amount will help because the needs are so huge.

Earth Quake Donations