Philippines TyphoonAimee Herd (Nov 12, 2013)TOPSHOTS A surivor walks among the debris of houses destroyed by Super Typhoon Haiyan in Tacloban in the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 11, 2013. The United States, Australia and the United Nations mobilised emergency aid to the Philippines as the scale of the devastation unleashed by Super Typhoon Haiyan emerged on November 11.      AFP PHOTO / NOEL CELISNOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images

(Central Philippines)—Some help is arriving for those devastated by last week’s Typhoon Haiyan which slammed the central islands of the Philippines, but more help is desperately needed. The huge storm tore apart whole cities and left at least 1,774 confirmed dead so far, though officials fear the death count could rise to around 10,000.

As survivors of Typhoon Haiyan wait and plead for assistance after being overwhelmed by the massive storm surge; accounts of heroism and a “miracle” baby’s birth bring a glimmer of hope into the horrendous scene.

According to the SkyNews report, 21-year-old Emily Ortega—also eight months pregnant—had evacuated to a shelter when the typhoon slammed into her city of Tacloban, flooding it.

Clinging to a post, Emily was able to survive the surging water, and eventually she reached “relative” safety in the airport, receiving help from a military doctor there. Emily told officials how eleven of her family members, including two daughters, had reportedly “vanished” in the storm, which may have triggered her labor.

The doctor on site assisted with the birth of her baby girl. And as little “Bea Joy Sagales” was born, “cheers broke out in the terminal,” and officials called the birth “near miraculous.”

Elsewhere, a member of the Philippine Air Force described how he and 41 of his officers were “being swept by waters one-by-one.” As he was swept away, he grabbed onto a coconut tree, along with a 7-year-old boy who clung to it as well.

Lieutenant Colonel Fermin Carangan described what happened then…

“In the next five hours we were in the sea buffeted by wind and strong rain,” he said. “I kept on talking to the boy and giving him a pep talk because the boy was telling me he was tired and he wanted to sleep.”

Finally spotting land, Carangan swam with the boy onto a beach which was covered by casualties of the storm. He noted that helping the boy gave him the strength to survive and ultimately saved his life.

In another account, a young British man and his work colleagues left the shelter they’d found during the typhoon to help others to get to a safer location to wait out the storm, in the city of Ormoc.

Jonathan Fitzpatrick’s mother was reportedly downplaying her son’s heroism saying, “He was not a hero, just working on his human instinct. In his eyes he has not done anything heroic, he has done normal things.”

She added, “The real heroes are the people out there sorting out this mess now, providing care, food and water.”

There are several organizations helping with relief efforts. To partner with them on behalf of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan—called “Yolanda” in the Philippines—click on one of the links below.

Samaritan’s Purse
Philippine Red Cross
Mercy Corps
Google Person Finder for Typhoon Yolanda [Haiyan] (To find or report a storm victim)


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