- (Photo: Reuters / Erik De Castro)
In what has been described as one of the worst storms ever to make landfall, Typhoon Haiyan has claimed the lives of thousands of people. However, amid the terrible and tragic devastation, small miracles are still possible, and news has emerged that one heavily pregnant mother not only managed to survive the horrendous storm, but also gave birth to her child as the typhoon devastated the area around her.
Reports from the Philippines reveal that Emily Sagalis was able to give birth to a "miracle baby" girl in an airport that was devastated during the storm and which had been converted into an impromptu medical clinic.
"She is so beautiful. I will name her Bea Joy in honor of my mother, Beatriz," Sagalis, 21, told AFP. "She is my miracle. I had thought I would die with her still inside me when high waves came and took us all away."
But the family's sense of happiness will come joined with heavy hearts after several members of the woman's family are still missing.
Sagalis revealed that her mother went missing after waves generated by the powerful typhoon broke upon their home near Tacloban city, the capital of Leyte province - one of the hardest hit areas.
The death toll in the typhoon-ravaged Tacloban city alone could reach 10,000 people, according to The Associated Press.
The need for relief supplies is urgent as Sagalis and thousands of other storm victims utilize what they can find amid the debris and hope it is enough until relief supplies arrive.
With communication and power outages across the region, relief efforts are slowly materializing and it could be weeks before the full extent of the damage is known. Landslides and fallen trees are also obstructing relief workers from delivering food and other supplies.
It is estimated that as many as 25 million people are affected, with local reports describing houses damaged, large trees uprooted, and storm surges as high as 16 feet, says World Vision's Minnie Portales in Manila, Philippines.
Christians in the United States are readying supplies to be shipped to the most needed areas including Springfield, Mo.-based Convoy of Hope which has sent four shipping containers to the Philippines, and is preparing to send more.
"We are working with our contacts and partners on several islands," says Kary Kingsland, senior vice president of Global Initiatives for Convoy of Hope, in a statement. "That will help expedite the delivery of relief to survivors."
The first assessment team of Convoy of Hope left for the Philippines on Sunday.