Typhoon Haiyan, The Philippines

Less than a month after storms battered the south of the UK, the power of nature’s force has again shown its ugly hand as Typhoon Haiyan destroyed the Philippines, more powerful and more devastating than any storm that has previously made landfall. Thousands lost their lives and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless, with those affected in some way running into the millions.

In some of the worst hit areas, water has become a precious commodity, long queues forming at the few standpipes available to serve the communities. Living through the storm is just the first of many battles for survival these people will fight as the continued threat of disease, starvation and violence overshadows their every move. Dead bodies line the streets and the debris of people’s lives makes roads impassable.

Aid is desperately needed and the urgency cannot be underestimated. So don’t think about it a second longer, do what you can to help. Stop watching the Christmas adverts, or browsing for Christmas presents for your loved ones and help someone else’s loved one survive their living hell and rebuild their life.

Donations can be made through the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), made up of 14 leading UK aid charities who work together in times of crisis: Action Aid, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Plan UK, Save the Children, Tearfund and World Vision; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly.

The opening paragraph on the DEC appeal page makes for astonishing reading as the power of the storm is detailed: Typhoon Haiyan was 300 miles across when it struck the Philippines on the 8th of November and one of the most intense tropical storms to ever make landfall anywhere in the world. It brought torrential rain, sustained winds of over 195mph and a storm surge of up to 30 feet that devastated coastal areas.

Times are tough for many at the moment with rising living costs, but our woes pale into insignificance in comparison. Do what you can and do it soon.