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Local organizations to hold benefit concert for Typhoon Haiyan survivors

Sponsors and donors needed for Dec. 15 event

Friday, December 6th, 2013
Issue 49, Volume 17.
Paul Bandong
Staff Writer

On of the strongest storms ever recorded – Typhoon Haiyan, packing winds of more than 190 miles per hour and gusts of up to 230 miles per hour – made landfall Nov. 8, striking six Philippine islands and wreaking mass devastation of the larger cities as well as the barrio villages. Entire city blocks and villages were destroyed. Local organizations are holding a benefit concert to help the victims.

The death toll from the typhoon is currently estimated at 5,600 with 1,800 listed as missing. Almost 30,000 are reported injured. An estimated 4.1 million people (about the population of Los Angeles) are displaced with over 200,000 staying in 1,100 government-run evacuation centers.

Damage estimates to infrastructure and agriculture are close to $650 million; major crops (coconuts, sugar, and rice) experienced severe damage. The agricultural sector is critical to feed the estimated 2.5 million people in need of food assistance. There is no estimate for the 1.17 million houses lost or damaged by the typhoon.

The destruction has also crippled the media and communication infrastructure in the affected areas leading to lack of accurate information, and in many cases misinformation, regarding available aid, missing persons, protection and health issues, as well as evacuation and recovery planning.

It is reported that 70 percent have no access to telecommunications and 90 percent do not have access to electricity. Electric power in the area’s largest city, Tacloban City, will not be restored until Dec. 24 at the earliest. Tap water is inconsistently available at open-air pipes where survivors line up by the scores with pots, pails and bottles. Transportation routes to many areas are blocked or destroyed.

The disaster is in its fourth week. Food, water and medicine are scarce; price gouging and looting are rampant. The price of rice, a Filipino staple, has more than doubled. Immediate recovery and relief efforts are ramping up, but the response is slow, Advertisement
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especially in reaching remote villages. The immediate needs are food, water, shelter and job creation.

The Department of Health and the World Health Organization are partnering on an immunization program to stop the outbreak of polio and measles, diseases that spread due to lack of sanitation and poor nutrition. The Regional Medical Center cannot operate at full capacity; critical care patients are being airlifted to hospitals in Manila and Cebu City.

Only half of the donations promised have been received, according to the Financial Tracking Service, a database on global humanitarian aid. The money requested by the United Nations may not be sufficient beyond the initial three-month response for relief. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Response, the recovery projects will take a minimum of 12 months and longer.

The relief efforts are heavily dependent upon the immediate and generous response of private organizations, businesses, and individuals.

A number of local organizations have joined together to help. The non-profit Inland Valley Business and Community Foundation ("IVBCF"), My Haus Filipino Bakery and Restaurant, Silverbird Media, and non-profit The Filipino Cultural Center of Temecula, Inc. ("FCCT") are hosting a benefit concert to raise money for the relief and recovery efforts in the Philippines.

"We plan to purchase medicine, supplies, food, blankets, and clothing for the victims of this disaster," said Marie Waite, president of IVBCF. "We need to do what we can to help. We need other partners and sponsors for this event."

The benefit concert will be held Dec. 15 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Temecula Community Recreation Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Road, in Temecula. The event will include several local musicians and bands, traditional Filipino folk dancers and 15-20 local vendors.

To participate as a sponsor or to make a donation, contact or call JP Cariaga at (951) 522-8013. All donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible.



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