Last nigh we got an update from Erlend, the director of Streetlight. Here is what Streetlight says on their facebook site:
We established contact with Erlend through Facebook on saturday 5.30 pm, GMT+1 hours. He was then located in the city hall where government has rigged a satellite station for citizents to contact relatives.
Erlend says that the orphants, the three norwegian volunteers and rest of the Streetlight family are safe. Yet the whereabouts of the 90 schoolars belonging to the education-program are still unknown. All of them living in the slum area, Seawall which was evacuated before the typhoons landfall.
Local Streetlight workers prepared together with Erlend for the storm, taking all precautions possible at the time. But all supplies got taken by the flood and the organization with its 30 orphants is left with nothing. They took shelter in one of the houses in the organizatons location, partly built in concrete and thereby concidered the safest place to hide.
As the water level reached the second floor, the only hope of survival was to break a hole in the seeling and climb onto the roof where they had to hold on not to be blown away by the 186 mph winds raging around them for over an hour. Below them a 16 feet flood hammering against the building walls. This way the residents of the orphanage togheter with Erlend, a group of infants and their mothers kept alive through the devastating power of Typhoon Haiyan. They were able to save 68 lifes, among them a man without legs, pulled up throught the gap in the roof. The orphanage is, with its only two remaining walls, the only building still standing in the area. Everything else flattened.
The destruction is catastrophic and many people needs help. Initially in terms of clean water, food, medications and clothes. Erlend says all got washed away by the flood throughout the city. The conditions are extreme and people are killing each other over whats left of food. Dead bodies are everywhere and it's only a matter of time before an epidemic breaks out, he says.
Erlends father, Leif Johannessen, is preparing to leave Norway on monday to reach Tacloban and assist in what will be an extensive relief campaign. He will bring a satellite phone to remain in contact with the outside world.
Our account number: 4202 31 56606
Thank you for your support and concern,
and please continue to care for the people of the Philippines.
I am following several organizations on twitter, among them United Nations @UN, BBC Breaking News @BBCBreaking, World Food Programme @WFP and UNICEF @UNICEF. While the official news last nigh were 1200 dead, Erlend wrote that it was 10,000. Today the official reports say the same.
This is heart breaking.