Local/State

Noth Carolina group details Philippines devastation first hand

Monday, November 11, 2013

A team of North Carolinians from Samaritan's Purse is in the Philippines to assist with disaster relief efforts.

The group's leader spoke with ABC11 via Skype to give a firsthand account of the devastation they are seeing.

Patrick Seger said he was greeted with a grim scene when he and his team arrived in the country on Saturday.

"The damage is extensive. Some areas the whole cities are missing or very badly damaged," he said. "Many areas hardest hit are without electricity, without water, they are without food. These people are really struggling at this point and need everything."

Samaritan's Purse is a Christian humanitarian organization based out of Boone. Through working with the group, Seger said he has responded to a number of disasters. He said this one ranks near the top.

"The UN is saying it's on the scale of the Banda Aceh tsunami in 2004 or greater," Seger said.

That tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed over 167,000 people.

Typhoon Haiyan is one of the strongest storms on record. It also appears to be the deadliest storm - and natural disaster - on record to hit the Philippines, with officials saying that as many as 10,000 people are believed dead.

"It's hard when you see people in these situations, but I just think back to who we are as an organization, and we're a Christian organization. I think that just gives us hope and a drive to do what we do because we're able to help these people in a time when they really need it," Seger said.

If you'd like more information on Samaritan's Purse and what you can do to help, click here.

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