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Philippines: Philippines: Timely Support Appreciated

18 December 2014 - 3:11am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

By Faizza Tanggol

Providing timely assistance after a humanitarian emergency is one of the World Food Programme's (WFP) main goals. With the support of the United States Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), WFP was able to preposition food in strategic areas around the country before Typhoon Hagupit made landfall.

Cousins Venice Crisologo and Melody Rapatan, both 20 years old, experienced Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby)from different places in Dolores, Eastern Samar. Venice went to a nearby elementary school which served as an evacuation centre, together with her husband, Cariaco, and two children, John Paul and John. Meanwhile, Melody decided to stay put in her house with her husband, Eric.

“We actually evacuated early on in the school, but we decided to return home before the landfall since it was very crowded,” said Melody.

“Yes, it was really crowded in the evacuation centre,” Venice agreed. “The conditions were rough. There came a point when other residents wanted to evacuate to the school as well, but could not because it could no longer accommodate any more people.”

When Hagupit came, the ordeal became more difficult for the cousins.

“I was really scared during the downpour,” said Venice. “Rain was falling hard and the school was flooded. The trees around the school also collapsed.”

“The winds from Ruby was really strong! It knocked half of our house down,” added Melody.

Nonetheless, the community of Dolores, Eastern Samar was quick to pick up the pieces destroyed by Hagupit. Venice and her family went back to their home a day after the typhoon hit while Melody and her husband is currently staying at an aunt’s house.

Some, however, had difficulties with food and in rebuilding their homes. Fortunately, the response led by the Philippine Government was immediate.

The Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) began its first distribution right after the typhoon passed. WFP provided complementary support to the food assistance of DSWD with high energy biscuits and rice.

USAID/OFDA was instrumental in the timely response to Hagupit by supporting the logistics operations of WFP and DSWD immediately after the typhoon made its landfall.

So far, USAID/OFDA support has moved by land non-food commodities and more than 700 metric tonnes (MT) of WFP food to assist 330,000 people. Their support has also transported 200,000 DSWD family food packs.

“We are very thankful for all the help we received,” Venice said.

“This is the first time we have ever received food assistance because Dolores has never been this badly hit by a typhoon,” said Melody. “I would like to extend my thanks to all the people who have helped us -- because of this, we have not gone hungry.”

With additional reporting from Anthony Chase Lim

Philippines: Final Aklan damage of Ruby lists P94.9M

18 December 2014 - 1:51am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

KALIBO, Aklan, December 17 (PIA6) -- Typhoon Ruby’s fury in Aklan wrought a total of P94,956,759.81 in damages, according to the final damage assessment report of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) here.

The report, as released by PDRRMC Executive Officer Galo Ibardolaza, showed that damages in agriculture reached P15,910,754.81 while infrastructure damages reached P78,730,000.00.

On the other hand, public utilities damage reached P316,005.00 – as reported by Kalibo and Numancia, the only towns which submitted the figures to the PDRRMC.

On agriculture – 10 towns reported damages – Altavas, Banga, Buruanga, Ibajay, Kalibo, Makato, Malinao, New Washington, Numancia and Tangalan – with Numancia having the highest with P4,796,440.00 and Buruanga having the lowest with P62,300.00.

For infrastructure, 6 towns reported damages –Banga, Buruanga, Malinao, New Washington, Numancia and Tangalan, with New Washington having the biggest with P75,000,000.00 and Banga the lowest with P40,000.00.

Four (4) Aklanons were listed injured at the height of Typhoon Ruby while 60 houses were partially damaged and 8, totally.

These damaged houses, according to the report, are in Banga, Buruanga, Kalibo, Malinao, Numancia and Tangalan.

Numancia had the highest number of partially-damaged houses with 22 followed by Banga with 14; Buruanga and Kalibo both with 10, Tangalan with 3 and Malinao, 1.

For totally damaged houses, Kalibo has 5, Numancia, 2; and Banga, 1.

Total number of families affected by Typhoon Ruby in Aklan reached 19,893 while total number of persons reached 95,704.00.

Meanwhile, the report from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) here bared that the total number of families served before and at the height of the typhoon reached 17,538, with the total cost of assistance extended to these persons by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Provincial Government of Aklan and local government units reached P1,821,733.60.

The province had zero casualty but due to the damages rendered to Aklan, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here December 8 held a special session to declare the province under the state of calamity. (JCM/VGV PIA6 Aklan)

Philippines: NDRRMC Update Sitrep No. 92 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

18 December 2014 - 12:51am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. ALERT STATUS OF MAYON VOLCANO

A. Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 18 December 2014. At this present stage, potentially eruptible magma has already been intruded and continues to be intruded beneath the edifice. At any given time in the following weeks to months, this magma can eventually be erupted quietly as lava flows or explosively as vertical eruption columns and pyroclastic flows or both. Mayon Volcano's seismic monitoring network detected two (2) volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours.

Philippines: MAP International Preparing Medical Relief Shipment to the Philippines as Typhoon Ruby Approaches

18 December 2014 - 12:02am
Source: MAP International Country: Philippines

ATLANTA, December 5, 2014 -- As Typhoon Ruby/Hagupit bears down on the Philippines, a Georgia-based global health nonprofit is already preparing to send more than $600,000 in emergency medical supplies. MAP International (www.map.org) already has 60 “Medical Mission Packs” of essential medical supplies packed and ready to be airlifted to the Philippines from its Distribution Center in Brunswick, GA. The Typhoon is expected to hit on Saturday morning U.S. eastern time.

The Medical Mission Packs are ready for transport once the extent of the need is determined this weekend. The $400,000 in medical supplies include antibiotics, rehydration fluids, pain relievers (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin), multivitamins, bandages and first aid supplies.

MAP has also secured a basic Interagency Emergency Health Kit (IEHK), with an estimated value of $200,000, that will be airlifted in from Europe. The IEHK includes enough essential medicines and medical supplies to treat 10,000 people for 90 days.

MAP assisted with relief when a typhoon hit the Philippines last year and has strong relationships on the ground. Additional donations will help secure additional needed relief. Donate at http://www.map.org/philippines

About MAP International

MAP International (www.map.org) is a global health and humanitarian organization that delivers medicines, medical supplies and health services around the world in response to man-made and natural disasters, to people living with neglected tropical diseases and to people living in severe poverty. Each year, MAP provides more than $330 million in essential medicines to 25 million people in more than 100 countries. The organization has 10 offices worldwide, serving people in the United States, Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Since its founding 60 years ago, MAP’s specific focus on delivering medical supplies around the world in times of crisis and to those living in great need has allowed it to build an unmatched expertise in the logistics and supply chain management of medicines and healthcare services. Over the last 60 years, MAP has provided nearly $5 billion in medicines and supplies to more than two billion people in 115 countries.

MAP has an independently audited 99 percent efficiency rating (i.e., less than one percent of its budget goes to administrative costs) and a four-star Charity Navigator rating.

MAP International, 50 Hurt Plaza, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30303. For questions, call 1.800.225.8550.

CONTACT:

Katie Pace

Public Content Specialist

828.329.2988

kpace@map.org

Indonesia: Learning from Crisis: Strengthening Humanitarian Response Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

17 December 2014 - 11:22pm
Source: CARE Country: Haiti, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Sudan, Sri Lanka

Remembering the Tsunami: A Decade of Strengthening Humanitarian Response

Ten years ago, the global community faced what was one of the biggest tests of humanitarianism in recent history.

On Dec. 26, 2004, an earthquake rumbled off the coast of Indonesia, triggering a series of devastating tsunamis that struck 14 countries across the Indian Ocean. At least 228,000 people lost their lives and millions more were left homeless.

A decade later, lessons learned from the tsunami humanitarian response continue to influence and improve how the world responds to disasters today.

A new report from CARE International marking 10 years since the Indian Ocean tsunami outlines some of the major milestones and innovations in the humanitarian system and in CARE’s own emergency work, and raises questions for how the world will continue to evolve and address emerging challenges in the years ahead.

“The tsunami was a turning point for the global aid community. Never before had such a massive, coordinated emergency response been launched after a natural disaster. The world succeeded in helping the affected countries rebuild and recover, and the way we respond to and prepare for crises was altered forever,” says Sally Austin, CARE International Head of Emergency Operations who previously worked in Indonesia as CARE’s Tsunami Response Director.

The global community mobilized with a massive emergency effort. CARE was among the leading humanitarian agencies that responded and worked with affected communities across five countries to reconstruct homes and livelihoods and promote economic and social development, reaching more than 1.3 million people.

Since the tsunami, the world has faced a decade of disasters – natural, like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti; as a result of conflict, like the ongoing crises in South Sudan and Syria; and outbreaks of disease such as the Ebola virus in West Africa.

With growing needs, there are emerging challenges both for people affected by disasters and for humanitarian actors. Aid organizations and donors need to be more flexible and innovative; build resilience of communities before, during and after a crisis; and expand partnerships with local communities, governments, civil society groups, the private sector and all who have a stake in responding to crises, according to CARE in its new report Learning from Crisis: Strengthening Humanitarian Response Since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

“We hope that this report will be used by many, as it will be by CARE itself, to continue to improve our collective humanitarian efforts to ensure we’re being as effective as possible and having the greatest impact in helping people most affected by these crises, particularly women and girls, as they are often disproportionately affected during a disaster,” said Barbara Jackson, CARE International’s Humanitarian Director. “The people who survived the tsunami worked against the odds to rebuild their homes and communities. The best way to honour them, and the memory of those who died in the disaster, is to continue to work together to find new, innovative solutions to help people affected by crises.”

Return to Aceh, Indonesia, 10 Years Later

CARE’s team recently returned to Aceh, Indonesia, which was the area worst hit by the tsunami. While the losses of loved ones cannot be forgotten, what was found were communities rebuilt and renewed, able to move on from the tragedy.

“It has been extraordinary to see the change in Aceh since the tsunami,” says Ibu Sinarti, a midwife who was seriously injured in the disaster 10 years ago. “Things look normal now, and in some places, like this health clinic, they are better. Everyone here was helped, somehow. The world came to help, and we helped each other.”

NOTE TO EDITORS:

CARE has staff members available to discuss the Indian Ocean tsunami who were involved in the initial response operations and continue to work for the organization today.

In particular, Canadian Melanie Brooks was part of CARE’s emergency response team that responded to the tsunami in Indonesia 10 years ago; she recently returned to Aceh to visit the families and communities affected by this disaster and is available to discuss progress achieved a decade later.

Media contact:

Marie-Jo Proulx
Communications Manger, CARE Canada
613.799.7562
mj.proulx@care.ca

Philippines: Assessing damage caused by Typhoon Hagupit

17 December 2014 - 10:08pm
Source: ShelterBox Country: Philippines

As our ShelterBox response team volunteers continue to assess the damage caused by Typhoon Hagupit, which hit the Philippines earlier this month, they describe how much the island of Samar has changed in just a few weeks.

The evidence of Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Typhoon Ruby, is clear to see in Eastern Samar, where a team made up of John Cordell (US), Richard Innes (UK), Richard Loat (CAN), Liam Norris (UK), Mike Peachey (NZ) and Brian Glenn (US) has been assessing the need for shelter.

Samar Island is among the Visayas, in the central Philippines. It is divided into three provinces, Samar province, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar.

While many of the people residing in Eastern Samar were fortunate enough not to have felt the full force of Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines last year, they knew of the devastation it caused and were prepared when Hagupit made its way towards the country.

More than half a million people were evacuated before the storm hit, which helped to save many lives. Although the evacuation centres were the strongest buildings in each municipality, they were filled to capacity.

Now that the typhoon has passed, people have emerged from the evacuation centres to find that houses have been destroyed, debris covers everything and signs requesting help litter the road leading to the municipality of Dolores, where the typhoon first made landfall.

Infrastructure has been heavily affected too as trees lay fallen over power lines, roads remain partially blocked due to landslides and high levels of water, and flood damage is visible in many places.

The team has assessed that the need for shelter and aid along the island’s coast is everywhere. From coastal villages damaged by storm surges and flood water, to inland areas where coconut trees, the main source of income, had been flattened.

Michael Adlao, district captain in the coastal area of Mababang, lives in an area where more than 80% of his community relies on coconut trees for their livelihoods. When he met our team, he explained that not only was their evacuation centre badly damaged but that none of their coconut groves were left standing. It will take around 20 years to re-establish a crop large enough to feed the whole community, and in some ways it will take a whole generation to recover from the legacy of Typhoon Hagupit.

The team has identified that there is not only a need for immediate shelter, but tools to help rebuild homes and livelihoods. Therefore, they will be working with aid organisation Plan International to distribute tarpaulins to families, which can be used to create temporary shelters and to waterproof existing structures.

2,000 tarpaulins are en route to Eastern Samar and will be distributed throughout the rest of the week.

Philippines: Philippines Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) Social Media 3W Report (17 December 2014)

17 December 2014 - 9:39pm
Source: Humanity Road Country: Philippines

Highlights

Humanity Road activated its response for Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) on Thursday, December 4, 2014, in advance of landfall. The typhoon made landfall Saturday, December 6 at 9:15 p.m.

Attached is our updated Social Media 3W report containing information on 77 aid providers responding to typhoon Hagupit, if you would like to list your organization on our 3W report, submit using the following form http://bit.ly/13cPHhi

Philippines: Phillipines Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) Social Media 3W Report (17 December 2014)

17 December 2014 - 9:39pm
Source: Humanity Road Country: Philippines

Highlights

Humanity Road activated its response for Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) on Thursday, December 4, 2014, in advance of landfall. The typhoon made landfall Saturday, December 6 at 9:15 p.m.

Attached is our updated Social Media 3W report containing information on 77 aid providers responding to typhoon Hagupit, if you would like to list your organization on our 3W report, submit using the following form http://bit.ly/13cPHhi

Philippines: ICRC Assessment and Response - SitRep10 (15 December 2014) Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby)

17 December 2014 - 10:47am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

Philippines: NDRRMC Update Sitrep No. 91 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

17 December 2014 - 3:39am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. ALERT STATUS OF MAYON VOLCANO

A. Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 17 December 2014. At this present stage, potentially eruptible magma has already been intruded and continues to be intruded beneath the edifice. At any given time in the following weeks to months, this magma can eventually be erupted quietly as lava flows or explosively as vertical eruption columns and pyroclastic flows or both. Mayon Volcano's seismic monitoring network detected one (1) volcanic earthquake during the past 24 hours.

Philippines: SitRep No.25 re Effects of Typhoon "Ruby" (Hagupit)

17 December 2014 - 3:24am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

"RUBY" exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on the evening of 10 December 2014.

II. AFFECTED POPULATION (Tab A)

• A total of 918,055 families / 3,914,930 persons were affected in Regions III, IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, CARAGA and NCR

• A total of 31,874 families / 165,243 persons are currently being served inside and outside 458 evacuation centers

III. CASUALTIES (Tab B)

• Eighteen (18) deaths were reported in Regions IV-A, IV-B, VII, and VIII

• A total of 916 injured persons were reported in Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VII, and VIII IV.

Philippines: IOM Philippines - Typhoon Hagupit Response: Situation Report No. 4, 12 December 2014

17 December 2014 - 12:29am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Philippines

HIGHLIGHTS

Relief materials such as 2,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 jerry cans, 1,000 Aquatabs arrived in Tacloban City and are ready for distribution

Considering there is no electricity available in some areas, IOM distributed solar lamps

Validations of damaged houses are underway and IOM teams will shortly start with shelter distributions

IOM teams began to roll out the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in affected communities to identify the gaps and needs of the displaced families

Philippines: Aid Delivered to Communities Affected by Typhoon Hagupit

16 December 2014 - 9:21pm
Source: Direct Relief Country: Philippines

Samar Provincial Hospital. Photo by Gordon Willcock. Direct Relief’s Emergency Response Team on the ground in the Philippines continues to deliver life-saving medicines in areas affected by Typhoon Hagupit (locally known as Ruby).

The typhoon made at least four landfalls in the island nation on Dec. 7, with winds reaching 125 mph, according to The Weather Channel. More than 30 million people have been affected by the storm, reports AccuWeather.

In the last few days, a 32-foot truck filled with medicines and medical supplies made deliveries to Leyte Provincial Hospital, Bumi Wadah, Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, Western Samar Provincial Hospital and the West Samar Emergency response division/pre-positioned for the Health Futures Foundation, Inc. mission.

At the Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital, the Provincial Health Officer asked for IV fluids and staff on the ground was able to deliver a pallet of Baxter IV fluid and over 4,000 bottles of 1L oral rehydration solution (ORS) as they are starting to have issues with clean drinking water.

Direct Relief Emergency Preparedness & Response Manager Gordon Willcock reported that the power is out along the coast and it took six hours to drive in due to poor roads, damaged bridges, and power lines hanging across all the roads.

“The damage is pretty bad. The health situation is stable but a little sketchy when linked with shelter, food, sanitation and water issues,” he said.

Pre-positioned medicines on the ground, including three typhoon preparedness modules, enabled quick response to medical needs immediately after the storm.

Dr. Absin, Provincial Health Officer and Chief of Hospital at Leyte Provincial Hospital – where one of the modules was pre-positioned – said that having the typhoon module on hand “meant we were ready and didn’t have to look for medicines when we needed them.”

Absin said they opened the module as soon as the storm passed and it meant they had supplies immediately and could send some medicines to support other facilities. She also reported that in the preceding weeks they had been able to distribute another Direct Relief donation to district hospitals across Leyte.

To support Direct Relief’s Emergency Preparedness and Response programs that help ensure aid is on the ground after disasters like Typhoon Hagupit, donate here

Philippines: Communication with Communities Situation Report - Typhoon Hagupit as of 16 Dec 2014

16 December 2014 - 9:08pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Needs:

  • Communities have less access to radio, TV, internet and even print media in most affected areas.

Response:

  • Far East Broadcasting Company-First Response Radio (FEBC-FRR) and PECOJON humanitarian radio (98.7 FM) started to broadcast in the municipality of Taft, Eastern Samar. The radio station is live on air from 5 am to 9 pm for public service announcements, humanitarian response updates and other life-saving information.

  • CwC/AAP working group of Tacloban and Borongan worked closely with the local government unit of Eastern Samar as well as Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) in strengthening the hotlines and information boards for community feedback on the ongoing humanitarian response.

  • IOM, World Vision, Plan International, Save the Children, Oxfam, PECOJON and Caritas-Philippines continue to use frontline SMS for humanitarian information in the affected areas of Eastern Samar.

  • The Shelter Cluster’s Information-Education-Communication (IEC) material on eight build back better safer key messages (reconstruction and repair of lightweight timber shelters) is now available online. To view, see this link:https://www.sheltercluster.org/Asia/Philippines/Typhoon%20Haiyan%202013/Pages/TechnicalResources.aspx. This is available in Waray-Waray, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Cebuano, Akeanon and English.

Gaps & Constraints:

  • Assessments results on information needs and preferred communication channels in other areas are not available.

For additional information and queries, please contact:

Gil Francis G. Arevalo, Communications with Communities Officer, OCHA, Manila, arevalog@un.org, +63 917-515-3539
Catherine Alcaraz, Communications with Communities Officer, OCHA, Tacloban, alcarazc@un.org, +63 917-554-6155

Philippines: Update: TSF connects worst hit Philippine towns

16 December 2014 - 9:03pm
Source: Télécoms Sans Frontières Country: Philippines

TSF connects the towns of Borongan, Oras and Dolores

TSF’s ICT support teams have connected 3 of the worst-hit towns in the province of Eastern Samar, an area drastically weakened and vastly destroyed by the recent passage of Typhoon Hagupit.

Following rigorous assessments of the towns spanning from Borongan to Artechi (Eastern Samar), TSF confirms that local network operators have mostly re-established mobile networks, however internet remains a great problem, the lack of which is preventing municipalities from coordinating their operations amongst the families in these isolated and impoverished communities.

TSF has positioned mobile satellite connections in the city hall and hospital of Dolores, and also in the municipal buildings of Oras and Borongan. Dolores and Oras were two of the towns through which Hagupit (meaning strike in Tagalog) first passed, affecting 46,000 and 38,130 people respectively in these two towns alone.

“Your vital connection allows us to send and receive damage assessment reports to and from other municipalities and NGOs such as yourself – this is so important so we know what the needs are and where they lie. Your big hearts and even bigger help mean that my town council can bring help to my people.” The Mayor of Dolores.

These connections also serve the NGOs that use council buildings as field offices. Eighteen such entities are present in Dolores including World Vision, Save the Children and Islamic relief. The office serves as a telecom coordination centre for the zone, where organisations share reports and assessments between head offices, field teams and working groups.

Dedicated to assisting its fellow NGOs, TSF has put in place a fixed satellite connection in the office of PLAN Philippines. Since Yolanda last year, PLAN has a permanent centre in Borongan from which they work on rebuilding the lives of the victims of the frequent calamities that hit the region. Communications is the key to this.

The importance of maximised coordination in humanitarian disasters is paramount. In the coming days, TSF will continue to assess the needs in the towns of Eastern Samar, and contribute to an improved aid effort for the hundreds of thousands of people going through the ever too familiar process of rebuilding their livelihoods flattened by natural disaster.

Internet access for populations cut off

Since Hagupit, the townspeople of Dolores have not been able to access a means to get news of their friends and families in the towns spread across the region of Eastern Samar. TSF has continued to enhance its support to Dolores by providing free high-speed internet access with tablets to the population in its HICC (Humanitarian Internet Communications Centre), allowing them access to Facebook, emails, news sites and other platforms where they can get information about the aftermath of Hagupit.

Philippines: Typhoon Hagupit: "We were prepared… "

16 December 2014 - 8:31pm
Source: Handicap International Country: Philippines

Typhoon Hagupit did not spare the province of Leyte. The municipalities of Tacloban, Alang Alang and Pastrana, which experienced the full force of Typhoon Haiyan just one year ago, faced this extreme weather event head on. The storm caused extensive material damage: uprooting trees, knocking electricity lines down, and blowing roofs off.

"The memories of Typhoon Haiyan which left around 8,000 people dead in November 2013, are still extremely vivid,” explains Emilie Rivier, Operational Coordinator for Handicap International in the Philippines. “The local populations therefore took the recent warnings from the government and humanitarian actors very seriously, and actively prepared for the disaster. Across the country, 1,700,000 people were displaced to 5,193 evacuation centers.[1] Today, the inhabitants are already getting started on the repair work. To the best of my knowledge there was no loss of life in Tacloban, Alang Alang or Pastrana. The local authorities have even proudly announced two births!"

Since Dec. 9, Handicap International teams have been assessing the extent of the damage suffered by the association’s beneficiaries, checking on the damage caused to their homes, access to school, healthcare, work, and water, health and hygiene. The teams visited around 30 barangays, or small villages, in Alang Alang, Tacloban and Pastrana, where Hagupit caused considerable damage to the agricultural sector, in particular to banana plantations.

Since Typhoon Haiyan, the association has notably been implementing a project to build 200 permanent shelters, in collaboration with the local population. "In these municipalities the results of our assessment were very positive,” Rivier says. “The permanent shelters, built using 'build back safer' methods[2] resisted the typhoon. We will… shortly be ready to resume our construction projects."

Handicap International also visited the families who were given new working tools[3] following the passage of Typhoon Haiyan. "The winds blew and the rain fell continuously for 48 hours, but the pigs (we) distributed are still in good health and the sari-sari stores[4] were not destroyed. Among the 800 households that benefited from HI’s support, only minor material damage has been reported. We have all learned lessons from Typhoon Haiyan, and we were very well prepared."

Typhoon Hagupit has therefore not had any major impact on the projects implemented by Handicap International in the province of Leyte, and the teams have already been able to resume their work.

[1]OCHA Situation Report No. 4, Philippines - Typhoon Hagupit, 9 December 2014.

[2] Method to build homes which are more resistant to natural disasters and adapted to the local context

[3]In order to assist the vulnerable populations who lost their livelihoods in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan, Handicap International aims to provide 800 households, from 20 community groups, with a new 'working tool' (tricycle, pig, small store, etc.) and to recover a certain amount of financial autonomy.

[4] Small stores

Philippines: Typhoon Hagupit deals double blow to communities struggling to recover from Haiyan

16 December 2014 - 4:28pm
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

By Kate Marshall, IFRC

Since Typhoon Hagupit struck the Philippines just over a week ago, the Philippine Red Cross has had three rapid response teams on the ground to assess the impact on the worst affected areas, including the easternmost island group of Samar where the typhoon first made landfall.

Initial reports indicate that overall damage from Typhoon Hagupit was not as bad as first feared, but in parts of Samar – still bearing the scars of Typhoon Haiyan – the picture is very different. Families grappling with high poverty rates are struggling to recover, especially in communities along the coast and in isolated mountain pockets. The effects of a protracted armed conflict in some parts of Samar exacerbate their plight.

Based on government figures, nearly one-third of the 3.85 million population affected by Hagupit live in Samar.

The Philippine Red Cross has so far provided more than 44,000 hot meals, 7,900 food packs and more than 51,000 litres of drinking water, as well as blankets, mats and other non-food items. Last week, it dispatched a convoy loaded with food and basic items as well as ambulances, water tankers and fuel trucks to the Bicol and Samar regions.

Last week Richard Gordon and Gwendolyn Pang, the chairman and secretary-general of the Philippine Red Cross, and Kari Isomaa, the IFRC’s Head of Delegation in the Philippines, were taken to see conditions on the ground and hear first-hand reports from staff and volunteers in Catarman, provincial capital of Northern Samar, followed by visits to Dolores and Borongan in Eastern Samar. A day earlier, a joint team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine Red Cross also conducted an aerial assessment of remote areas in Northern Samar; two other ICRC teams covered Eastern and Samar province by land.

Food crops have been badly affected. Rice fields where new seedlings had been planted weeks before were washed away and banana trees flattened. Locals have erected signs saying ‘Help us’ along the side of the road and many people are making do with what little they have left in the way of food and shelter.

Shelter and food needs also remain in many mountainous areas that experienced flash flooding from heavy rain. The rain turned into rivers of mud as it coursed down the mountainside, affecting many communities in its path. Mr Gordon warned that some of these areas will take time to be fully assessed, either because a bridge has been destroyed or because they are in remote valleys that can take days to reach by foot.

According to the Government there are still about 172,000 people receiving some kind of help either inside or outside an evacuation centre. Most of them are in Samar.

In Dolores, Gordon and Pang stopped to talk to representatives of families who were pre-emptively evacuated to the local elementary school. Concerned parents told the Philippine Red Cross leaders they had been told to leave so classes could resume but they had no choice but to remain in the overcrowded school as Hagupit had destroyed their homes.

For Samar, tents and shelter repair items from Philippine Red Cross stock are being dispatched with other emergency supplies including sleeping kits, tarpaulins, hygiene kits and jerry cans.

The ICRC is providing 150 tonnes of rice and sardines, as well as water-treatment equipment to the Philippine Red Cross for distribution to affected families in the coastal areas of Northern and Eastern Samar.