Following the destruction wrought by Super Typhoon Haiyan, which appears to be the Philippine Islands’ worst natural disaster in history, relief efforts are rapidly rising up across the world. Here, while Americans commemorate the courage of their veterans, the State Department is hurrying to organize a team of these hometown heroes to provide aid in the storm-torn Philippines.
The scale of Haiyan’s devastation is overwhelming. More than 10,000 lives are feared to have been lost in Friday’s storm, and at least 600,000 people have been displaced. Police officials report at least 80-percent of the worst hit Leyte province’s infrastructure was leveled by the 200-mph winds and 20-foot waves.
This beloved travel destination, known for its breathtaking white sand beaches and jungle-capped cliffs, is home to four of the World’s Best Hotels, and is now in great need of international support. At TravelandLeisure.com, we extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by Haiyan, and we encourage everyone to do what they can to make a difference for those in need.
“When people are interested in extending help,” said Director Vernie Velarde, of the Philippine Department of Tourism in Chicago, “we are leading them to government associations, the National Disaster Coordinating Council, and the Philippine Red Cross.”
In addition to supporting Philippines-based groups, find out more about what’s being done, and how you can contribute to the cause:
Make a Donation
Organizations such as UNICEF, The Red Cross, MercyCorps, Direct Relief, AmeriCares and World Vision are all accepting donations in order to provide clean water, food, medicine, and shelter to those injured or displaced. Head to their websites to make a contribution.
Send a Text
Immediately donate $10 by texting the Salvation Army, World Food Programme, and mGive Foundation. Donate to the Philippine Red Cross by texting Red, followed by any amount of your choice, to GLOBE. Charges will appear on your wireless bill.
Take a Flight
Many airlines, including Lufthansa and AirAsia Zest, are taking their commercial planes and turning them into emergency transport. Donations are being transported for free, and free flights are being made available to volunteers.
Whether you watch it on TV or read it online, there are dozens of news media offering lists of relief organizations and ways you can help. Follow #Haiyan for the most up-to-date coverage and updates from aid agencies.
Melanie Lieberman is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.