A relief worker on the ground in the Philippines has described nightmarish scenes, but says the Filipino people are being resilient through the crisis.

Deborah Toribio, the executive director for aid organisation Food For the Hungry, was in Manila when Typhoon Haiyan tore through nearby provinces.

"The storm was like a whirlwind. [The] water [rose] so fast and the wind was so strong that even steel could bend," she said.

"I would rate Typhoon Haiyan as the worst in our country.


"I have seen many disasters in the past, but this is a nightmare for our people."

Mrs Toribio said she had heard of harrowing stories, including people who had lost their children in the rush to help others.

"A security officer at the airport helped two other co-workers, however he was not able to save the lives of his own daughters.

"He lost three children.

"I also heard a story of a man who owned a concrete house that saved 100 adults and children because he allowed them to come in."

Mrs Toribio's group is a partner of Christian organisation Tear Fund.

She has been liaising with the New Zealand-based branch of the organisation over aid and relief.

She said the Filipino people were being resilient amid the grief and pain so many were going through, having lost so much, and urged New Zealanders to give generously and wisely.


"We need food, water, medicines and hygiene kits.

"Help is a bit slow in many areas because roads are not passable. The best way to help is to give financially.

"In this difficult situation, the Filipino people will always be survivors.

"We have fallen many times, but we rise again."

To donate
Red Cross: redcross.org.nz
World Vision: worldvision.org.nz
Unicef New Zealand: unicef.org.nz
Tear Fund: tearfund.org.nz
Save the Children: savethechildren.org.nz
Oxfam: oxfam.org.nz.