The 21st tropical cyclone of 2020 causes massive flooding and damage.
When Richard heard the news that the Cagayan Valley province was one of the areas worst affected by the November 12 typhoon, he promptly wrote to Jordan*, a missionary friend living with his family in Cagayan Valley.
This was Jordan’s response:
“Good to hear from you uncle Richard,
' We are living in Dugo, Camalaniugan, Cagayan.'
' Yes, tens of thousands of families have been flooded in the whole province. Many also in our area of Lal-lo and Camalaniugan have had their homes and livelihoods devastated. Luckily most of the Agtas we work with in Gattaran, Alacapan, and Lal-lo live in the foothills so their homes were not flooded but many of the Ilocanos and Ybanags who live in the floodplain and along the river were the most severely affected, so, our efforts currently at more focused on helping them as the Agta are less affected currently by this disaster.'
' Cleanup and salvage has begun but many of the houses were flooded for 3 to 4 days, some even submerged for part of that time. Many made of plywood and other light materials are extensively damaged due to soaking in the flood waters. Many houses which are not built of concrete have parts destroyed or are falling apart.'
' We currently have 13 people staying in our house with us. Their families asked for rescue during the typhoon and the rising water so we went on a rescue mission on November 12 and picked up these kids. 12 children ages 5 months old to 14 years old and the mother of the 5 month old baby, so currently 18 of us living in our house. We have been housing them, caring for them and feeding them since the typhoon and flooding. The flood waters have gone down but they can not go home yet because of the cleaning still to be done and the damage to their homes. They will probably be stay with us still through this week.'
' We have also been receiving some donations and helps for expenses in taking care of the kids in our house and we have been able to put together some relief packs of rice, food, water, and hygiene kits that we have been able to distribute to some of the more in need people in our communities.'
' The greatest needs right now in some of the hardest hit areas is clean drinking water, food and of course basic hygiene items like soap, etc. Shelter is also an essential for some others whose homes were destroyed and of course for those who lost everything they have need of much more including clothing, blankets, and basic household utensils like for cooking, etc. '
' There is still much to be done and we are extremely grateful for your desire to assist in the restoration and rebuilding of the lives of the people affected by the flooding in the Cagayan Valley. We deeply appreciate your love and concern for us and happily welcome any assistance you might be able to extend. Thank you very much. God bless you immensely."
Subsequent to this email from Jordan, PSHF sent 30,000 pesos to help Jordan and his team with their relief efforts.
* Richard's connection with Jordan goes back a long way. He is the son of Bert and Mary Bureros who ran the Cagayan Valley Children's Home over two decades in the 1980s and 90s. Richard visited the home several times and came to know the children; they all called him 'Uncle Richard' . Jordan and his brother Jacob's formative years were spent in the home. Jordan returned to Cagayan Valley after his marriage to Michèle and works with and for the indigenous Agta people.
Rhiza Gene Ciudad