January 9, 2019

Disaster report

Unbound families affected by flooding, fire

Two unrelated disasters have impacted communities in the Philippines. About 200 families served through Unbound suffered property damage and loss of possessions when Typhoon Usman struck Dec. 29-30. Then, on Jan. 5, a fire spread through the Manresa neighborhood in Quezon City, causing residents to flee their homes.

The typhoon forced dozens to be evacuated for several days. The affected families are served by Unbound’s Quezon and Legazpi programs, whose staffs have mobilized to help provide assistance. No deaths or serious injuries were reported among members of the Unbound community.

The Bicol region, which is served through our Legazpi program and includes the southeastern part of Luzon as well as neighboring islands, was particularly impacted by the storm. Severe flooding resulting from overflowing rivers and breached dams caused power outages that lasted several days in some areas. More than 122 deaths were reported and 28 people were missing, according to news reports.

Families lose homes in fire


Burned out dwellings reveal the devastation of the fire in the Manresa neighborhood in Quezon City, Philippines. Many residents lost everything when flames spread quickly through the makeshift homes.

The fire in Manresa, a densely populated squatter community, was reportedly caused by an electrical overload. Unbound Quezon program staff member Wilson Tubera said that 19 sponsored persons and their families were forced to leave with little warning, losing their homes and all their possessions. They were taken to an evacuation center, and no fatalities or serious injuries were reported.

The Unbound program assisted families with clothing and groceries. The staff will be working with the families to evaluate long-term needs and help with recovery.

Unbound offices in the Philippines normally set aside funds for disaster response. Quezon program reserves, however, were depleted after an especially severe storm season. The staff has requested assistance from Unbound’s Disaster Response fund to help families affected by Typhoon Usman and the fire in Manresa. The Legazpi program reports that their reserves are sufficient to deal with the aftermath of Usman.

What you can do

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date. In times of natural disaster, Unbound notifies sponsors personally if we learn that their sponsored friends have been injured or otherwise seriously impacted, so keeping your information updated is important.
  • Pray. The Unbound community holds all those affected and those assisting with relief efforts in our thoughts and prayers.
  • Donate to Disaster Response. Unbound’s Disaster Response fund provides assistance to families in the aftermath of events like severe storms and fires.