People are showing just how much they care

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Our hearts go out to the people of the Phillipines in the aftermath of last Friday’s terrifying typhoon.

With several thousand lives lost and millions of others affected, the country faces a real struggle to get back on its feet.

We can only imagine what it must be like for whole communities that have been flattened by the power of deadly tidal waves whipped up by 150mph winds as Typhoon Haiyan struck.

Yet out of the devastation has come affirmation of how much people care about this humanitarian disaster happening thousands of miles away.

People touched by the tragedy want to do whatever they can to help.

Donations are being made to appeals and people are busy organising all sorts of fundraisers.

Today we report how members of Portsmouth’s Filipino community have come together to raise thousands of pounds.

Portsmouth Family Church, which has a large Filipino congregation and operates a church in Manila, has given money for generators to power water pumps and timber to rebuild homes.

With many Filipinos in the UK working in the NHS, hospitals are also trying to fundraise.

Meanwhile as a nation we’re offering much-needed assistance.

The first UK aid flight has now arrived, carrying almost 9,000 emergency shelter kits, while a medical team and Portsmouth-based warship HMS Daring are on their way to do whatever they can to help.

The British government has pledged at least £10m and the UK’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) raised £13m in the first 24 hours of its appeal.

The DEC, which brings together 14 major UK charities, said the response had been ‘overwhelming’.

In this day and age it’s all too easy to be insular, to watch disasters on TV that are happening in other parts of the world and think that they do not affect us.

But the response to what has unfolded in the Philippines is powerful evidence that we can still show great compassion towards others in times of great need.