A severe tropical storm struck the southern Philippines on December 16, causing landslides and massive flooding on the island of Mindanao, where Lutheran World Relief is implementing a number of sustainable development projects.
Two major cities in northern Mindanao, Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, were badly hit, as were many surrounding areas. Learn more
“It seemed like it was the end of the world,” Solidad Maestre said, as she recalled her experience with the latest typhoon in the Philippines.
On the evening of December 16, Solidad encountered the most unforgettable typhoon of her life. The water was already knee-high when she began to pack her things, and by the time Solidad and her children vacated their place, the floodwaters had risen to chest level, forcing them to abandon their possessions.
“We were trapped on the road, because of the floodwater coming from different directions. I was praying hard to ask God for help,” she recalled. Solidad begged for help from a resident whose house has a second floor. “We stayed there with 75 other people, but when the water level reached the second floor of the house we started to climb up the rooftop, using a blanket as a rope.”
Solidad and the rest of the trapped families stayed on the rooftop in wet clothes overnight. “My two children were trembling. I was really afraid and prayed to God that we could survive the cold.” During this time, Solidad was prepared to die.
Solidad and her children survived the night, but their property did not. She was devastated to see their house completely washed away by the flood. “I was [already] planning to repair the roof, but now it is gone,” says Solidad. She — like hundreds of other affected families — is currently staying in a local evacuation center and her situation is really difficult.
She is relying on the food rations and water assistance from relief agencies. “We have no money. My husband is still absent from work and I cannot go back to peddling food,” Solidad lamented. Lutheran World Relief, through Mahintana Foundation, is helping ease the suffering of Solidad and the rest of 1,500 affected families in Macasandig village. LWR provided them with Quilts, Baby Care Kits, School Kits, and Personal Care Kits.
“Thank you so much for the help, especially for the quilts. I can use this as a sleeping mat, because right now we are sleeping on a carton,” the mother-of-two expressed.
Learn more about the flooding in the Philippines and find out how you can help. Or simply: