The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is responding to people affected in the Philippines, Samoa and Indonesia following three recent disasters. UMCOR’s top executive, Sam Dixon, says, “Our prayers are with the people who are hurting as a result of this devastation. UMCOR is committed to addressing their needs and especially reaching out to those who are most vulnerable.”

Philippines typhoon

UMCOR Philippines is working with its local partners including Action by Churches Together (ACT) and the National Council of Churches to provide relief to those affected by Typhoon Ketsana, also called Ondoy, in the Philippines.

UMCOR Philippines is distributing emergency provisions including bottled water, blankets canned fish and rice. UMCOR Philippines anticipates expanding the response through local and international partners in addition to partnering with the Manila Episcopal area including local church disaster response coordinators. Support for UMCOR’s relief work in the Philippines can be made through Philippines Emergency, UMCOR Advance #240235.

South Pacific earthquake and tsunamis

Four powerful tsunamis generated by a huge undersea quake crashed into Tonga, Samoa and American Samoa on Sept. 30, UMCOR’s Domestic Disaster Response unit has been in touch with FEMA and with the California Pacific Annual Conference of which American Samoa is a member. More than 32,000 people are displaced and 147 people are confirmed dead.

UMCOR has been in touch with Bishop Mary Ann Swenson and a number of established partners who already have a physical presence in Samoa and Tonga. To help people affected by the tsunamis, support may be offered through UMCOR’s International Disaster Response: UMCOR Advance #982450.

West Sumatra earthquake

A major earthquake struck West Sumatra on Sept. 30 causing major damage to the provincial capital of Padang and Pariaman District.

UMCOR established its field offices in Indonesia following the December 2004 tsunami. Country operations are based in Medan with field offices in Banda Aceh and Bireuen. UMCOR is working closely with its partners in the area, including Church World Service to assess the needs and coordinate an appropriate response.

UMCOR Indonesia continues to help those affected by the 2005 tsunami and the 30 year conflict preceding it. To support the relief efforts, please give generously to Indonesia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #217400. – UMCOR

A UMNS photo by Melissa Hinnen, UMCOR.

A disaster response coordinator presents response plans during a workshop at the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s office in Cavite, Philippines, in this July 2009 file photograph.