Emergency Revision - Humanitarian Action Plan for Philippines (Mindanao) 2012 - Response to Tropical Storm Washi

22 December 2011

Tropical Storm Washi (known locally as Sendong) made landfall on 16 December in Surigaodel Sur province on the northeastern coast of Mindanao.  Although the Philippines routinely suffers storms of similar or higher strength every year (ten in 2011 alone), Tropical Storm Washi struck far to the south of the most storm-prone region of the country, sweeping across towns and villages not used to coping with storms of this strength.  According to a 20 December report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the storm and accompanying floods killed 957 people, with a further 49 reported missing and 1,582 injured.

Most of the casualties were in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Region X (Northern Mindanao), where heavy rains caused flash flooding of three major rivers, devastating areas along the banks and leading to scenes more reminiscent of a tsunami than a flood.  Flash floods struck in the early hours of the morning after a night of torrential rainfall, with muddy waters rising swiftly and trapping residents as they slept, sweeping away simply constructed buildings in the process.

Local communities and authorities reacted quickly, launching search and rescue operations with the aid of the military and Red Cross, establishing evacuation centres and providing immediate relief assistance.  The Government and Humanitarian Country Team carried out joint rapid assessments on 19 and 20 December to the worst affected areas.  These initial rapid assessments estimate the affected population in the hardest hit region at 467,379, including 60% of the population of Cagayan de Oro City and 40% of Iligan City.  According to the NDRRMC 3,127 houses have been destroyed and a further 7,218 damaged, displacing 284,610 people (51,083 families).  Of the displaced, 42,733 have sought refuge in 63 evacuation centres while the remaining displaced - numbering almost a quarter of a million people - have sought temporary shelter with relatives or makeshift structures.  The storm disrupted power and water supplies as well as transport and communications in the area, hampering the response and recovery. 

The main priority is to assist those displaced by the flood.  Immediate needs are for clean water for drinking and bathing; food and adequate shelter, and essential household items to replace those lost in the flood including clothing, blankets, sleeping materials, hygiene and medical supplies, and cooking utensils.

The Government has responded quickly to the disaster with a wide range of national, regional and local assets, however the scale of the needs is overwhelming local capacity and additional assistance is urgently needed.

The Humanitarian Country Team already has a presence in the affected area and agencies are responding with available resources.  The nature and scale of the disaster however is not one that local communities or responders are accustomed to, and additional supplies and expertise are needed to rapidly scale up the response. 

Based on these assessed needs and priorities, this emergency revision of the 2012 Humanitarian Action Plan seeks a total of US$[1]28,576,819to enable international to support the government in addressing the needs of those affected over the coming three months.

 



[1]All dollar signs in this document denote United States $. Funding for this appeal should be reported to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS, fts@un.org), which will display its requirements and funding on the current appeals page.

Document History

22 December 2011

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