Dear ICM Friends,
Sorry to say that another natural disaster has struck the Philippines and this one also hit ICM’s target provinces. You may have heard in the news that a 6.9 magnitude earthquake shook the central island provinces of the Philippines yesterday morning, triggering landslides. There have been hundreds of aftershocks. At least 43 bodies have already been recovered.
The earthquake was felt throughout many of the ICM target areas, including the areas around Bacolod, Dumaguete and Bohol and many of you have asked about the safety of our staff and programs. The experience was stressful for millions of people on these islands. People evacuated after tsunami warnings were issued. The aftershocks continued for more than a day, and people worried that buildings could collapse at any minute. But we are pleased to tell you that ICM’s staff, project partners and community recipients are safe. It appears that the most serious damage was confined to a few mountain towns. ICM works in thousands of communities, so we are still gathering responses from our communities. So far we have confirmed that church buildings in four of our partner communities were destroyed. And we will be working to help these communities. We feel grateful that most of our communities avoided the most serious damage in this round.
Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers for the poor in our areas. They are grateful for you too.
Dave Sutherland, ICM Chairman