AAI deploys to Philippines in response to Typhoon Durian

AAI has now deployed its DART to Bicol, Luzon in the Philippines to assist with the devastation caused by Typhoon Durian. Led by Frank Tyler the team will contain doctors, nurses, paramedics and public health workers to provide direct care and conduct assessments for further programs.

Details of the devastation are provided in the following report.

Friday, December 4, 2006

Current Status

Officials say that more than 1,000 people are dead or missing in the wake of Typhoon Durian (local name: Reming), which struck the Philippines last Thursday (November 30) and triggered deadly mudslides on the slopes of Mount Mayon volcano in the worst-hit northeastern region of Bicol, as foreign aid assistance began to arrive. According to the latest report by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) today, at least 450 people have been confirmed dead, while another 636 people are missing. Another 642 people have also been reportedly injured. According to NDCC Executive Officer Glenn Rabonza, more than 1.1 million people have been affected, and more than 20,000 are currently in 72 evacuation centers. Damage to property has been estimated at more than 274 million pesos (US$5.3 million), according to the NDCC. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Sunday (December 3) declared a "state of national calamity" and authorized the immediate release of 1 billion pesos (US$20 million) to rehabilitate the affected areas. The Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) today (Monday, December 4) issued an urgent appeal of over US$7.3 million for water, food and medicine to assist victims for nine months. Local Red Cross official Benjamin Delfin said that that the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) continued to receive donations from international organizations. "What we need now are medicines, food and items such as blankets, water and plastic sheeting for those who lost their homes," he said. The Philippine military has reportedly been transporting relief goods from Manila , but rescue operations have been reportedly slow in remote areas. Rescuers today said that operations are now shifting from rescue to the recovery of bodies, which is also proving difficult. According to the NDCC, humanitarian aid was expected from Japan , Indonesia , Malaysia and the US , while the UN, and the Canadian and Australian governments were sending cash. Durian was a category 4 typhoon (one less than the maximum of category 5) when it struck the Philippines , and is expected to cross into Vietnam 's central coffee-growing region as a category 1 storm on Monday night (December 4). Durian is expected to make landfall in coastal Khanh Hoa and at least 14,000 people have been evacuated from there, according to officials. (Reuters, Phil Inq, NDCC, IFRC, Dec-04)


Affected: 1,146,001 persons , or 261,838 families in 1,501 barangays in 100 municipalities in Regions IV-A (Batangas, Cavite , Laguna, Quezon, Rizal provinces), IV-B (Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro , Oriental Mindoro , Romblon provinces) and V (Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate , Sorsogon provinces). (NDCC, Dec-04)

- Evacuees: 20,200 displaced people in 72 designated evacuation centers (NDCC, Dec-04)

- Damaged houses: 69,440 totally and 142,985 partially (NDCC, Dec-04)

Affected areas:

Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, parts of Camarines Norte and Sur, Marinduque, Batangas, Quezon and Luzon .

Areas declared under state of calamity: Albay, Marinduque and Carmines Sur provinces.

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) reports that casualty and damage figures could still rise significantly when communication lines are restored in some areas. While there has been a heavier loss of lives in Albay province, reports indicate that infrastructure and property damage are heavier in Catanduanes province. (Dec-03, OCHA)

NDCC reports widespread destruction of houses, school buildings and government offices in Catanduanes province. (Dec-03, OCHA)

Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council says that from just six of Camarine Sur's 35 towns, some 24,909 families needed to be housed in evacuation centers.

Marinduque (an island province) Governor says that the DSWD reported that more than 40,000 families were affected. Governor says that more than 80% of the population is affected (OSOCC, Dec 1)

The civil defense office said that more than 13,900 people had been evacuated in the Bicol region. (AFP, Dec 1)

Infrastructure damage:

Infrastructure damage estimated at 23.2 million pesos (US$451,000). (Dec-4, NDCC)

Main roads in affected provinces have been cleared, however, widespread power and communications outages remain in most affected areas; disruption of water supply also remains a major concern. (Dec-03, OCHA)

Department of Public Works & Highways (DPWH) conducting clearing operations in Oriental Mindoro , Marinduque and Catanduanes. (Dec-04, NDCC)

According to UN's OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), flood waters reportedly reached 10 feet (3 meters) in some areas. Rescue efforts are being hampered by storm damage which knocked out electricity, telephone lines and the water supply across much of Bicol which includes Legaspi City and Daraga. Legaspi airport experienced some damages and was shut down. (AFP, Dec-01)

About 10,000 houses in Bicol and Southern Tagalog were either blown down by the typhoon or were damaged. (INQ7, Dec 1) Civil defense officials say that 90 percent of Bicol homes were destroyed. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) in Camarines Sur reported that 6,256 houses in six towns were destroyed and 15,678 partially damaged. (INQ7, Dec 1)

PDCC says that from just six of Camarine Sur's 35 towns, 6,356 houses totally damaged with another 15,678 partially damaged.

NDCC reports two major transmission lines, Naga-Tayabas line and Gumaca-Labo line, were totally damaged and tripped off 10 sub-transmission lines in the Bicol region. National Transmission Corporation (Transco) reported total power loss in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon Provinces in Region V; No electricity in some parts of Batangas, Laguna and Quezon provinces. (NDCC, Dec 1)

Economic damage:

Public Works Department put initial estimates of damage to infrastructure in Bicol at 1 billion pesos (US$20.1 billion) (AFP, Dec 1)

NDCC says agriculture damage estimated at over 250 million pesos (US$4.9 million). (Dec-04, DNCC)

PNRC head notes that most of the areas hit by Durian have been battered by previous typhoons and that most of the local governments had used up their calamity funds.

Priority Needs and Requirements:

National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) priority actions include rapid damage and needs assessments, search and retrieval of dead, and sustaining relief operations. (Dec-03, OCHA)

NDCC Priority Needs:

- Water: Provision of drinking water and water purifying tablets

- Health: Medical teams, social workers and medicines

- Food: Relief goods such as rice, noodles, sardines etc.

- Non-food: Blankets, mattresses

- Emergency: Shelter, tents (Dec-03, OCHA)

NDCC Priority Actions:

- Coordinate international and local relief

- Sustain emergency relief operations

- Develop early recovery plan for areas affected by Durian, Cimarron and Xangsane typhoons. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Government Response:

President Arroyo declared state of national calamity on December 3 (Sunday), and authorized 1 billion pesos (US$20.17 million) for the effects of the three successive Durian (Reming), Cimarron (Paeng) and Xangsane (Milenyo) typhoons. (OCHA, Dec-03)

Search and rescue and relief activities still ongoing. (OCHA, Dec-03)

Estimated cost of assistance by NDCC, DSWD, DOH, Local government units (LGUs), NGOs and other GOs amount to 19,085,133 pesos (US$ 370,945). (NDCC, Dec-04)

NDCC and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) sent 7,500 sacks of rise to affected areas. Facilitated three sorties carrying over 50 tons of relief supplies from government and relief agencies, including CARITAS, medical teams and supplies. Fourth sortie scheduled on Tuesday (December 4) to carry NFIs from DSWD, medical team from National Center for Mental Health and communication team from SMART communications. (Dec-04, NDCC) NDCC has facilitated airlift of 52 tons of food and non-food items to affected areas. (OCHA, Dec-03) NDCC will field a national assessment team on Saturday (December 2). (OCHA, Dec 1)

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) provided food and NFIs worth over 6 million pesos (US$116,618). 15 DSWD evacuation centers are still open, sheltering about 3,197 people, while another 76,897 individuals are being served outside centers. Provided assessments and other assistance. (Dec-04, NDCC) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) activated Emergency Management Teams (EMTs) and Quick Action and Response Teams (QUARTs) for technical assistance and resource augmentation.

Department of Health provided 62 boxes of medicines and 5-member medical team to Albay. (Dec-04, NDCC) Department of Health provided compact food, cadaver bags, medicines (OSOCC, Dec 1) The Department of Health (DOH) activated regional operation centers with standby medical teams, ready for mobilization.

Philippine Disaster Coordination Center (PDCC) set up relief coordination center in Calapan for Mindoro provinces. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Philippine Navy Ship delivering relief goods to island province of Mindoro . (OCHA, Dec-03) At least 40 military rescuers were flown out from the capital, to the Mayon area by helicopter. Rescuers plan to bring in search dogs. (AFP, Dec 1) Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) pre-positioned mobility assets in Catanduanes, including helicopters and light transport vehicles.

Government engineering units clearing secondary and tertiary roads; national agencies conducting inter-agency needs assessments. (OCHA, Dec-03)

Government geologists will assess environmental damage and the possibility of additional mudflows from Mount Mayon . (OCHA, Dec 1)

National Response:

International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)'s sent out its latest appeal of US$ 7,318,798 to support the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) to assist 200,000 beneficiaries for nine months. (IFRC, Dec-04) IFRC released initial emergency assistance of 100,000 Swiss Francs (US$83,769). (OCHA, Dec-03) Netherlands Red Cross pledged 40,000 Euros (US$53,339). (OCHA, Dec-03)

PNRC deployed three assessment teams to Albay, Catanduanes, Carmines Sur, Quezon and Marinduque. (OCHA, Dec-03) Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) has sent two assessment teams to Legazpi City , Daraga and Sto. Domingo towns around Mount Mayon in Albay province. PNRC has also sent 500 cadaver bags to the areas. (ABS-CBN, Dec-02)

International Response:

NDCC stated on Sunday (December 3) that there is no need for international search and rescue teams. Relief items are also available in the country and can be purchased locally. (Dec-03, OCHA)

The Philippine government said that it is willing to accept offers of assistance from foreign governments, aid agencies and the UN. (Dec-03, OCHA)

AUSAid has pledged US$1 million in emergency assistance. (Dec-03, OCHA)

Canada has pledged 1 million Canadian dollars (US$876,528), which was split evenly between the IFRC and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). (Dec-03, OCHA)

CARE provided relief to 1,000 affected families and sent assessment team to Albay. (Dec-04, CARE)

Ireland sent US$397,000 in cash. (Dec-04, Phil Inq)

Japan has decided to provide emergency assistance in kind (tents, blankets, etc.) of 20 million yen (US$170,000). JICA also pledged emergency assistance of US$ 1 million. (Dec-03, OCHA)

Malaysia sent 1 C-130 planeload (about 20 tons) of emergency relief supplies. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Indonesia has sent 2 C-130 planeloads of relief supplies. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Republic of Korea sending US$100,000 cash assistance. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Spain sent three-member medical team with one dog. (Dec-04, NDCC)

Telecoms Sans Frontieres (TSF) sent two representatives to Catanduanes to re-establish communications. (Dec-04, NDCC)

World Vision launched initial appeal for US$1 million. Will provide food and NFIs to 20,000 people within the week. (Dec-03, WVI)

USAID has provided US$250,000 in immediate cash assistance for the Bicol region. Relief flight with US supplies expected later this week. (Dec-04, NDCC)

UNICEF mobilized over US$300,000, and sent relief supplies for 10,000 people for three months. Will send assessment team to Albay province. (Dec-04, UNICEF)

UNOCHA has provided US$1-2 million for local purchase of relief supplies. (Dec-04, NDCC)

UN inter-agency assessment team will be deployed tomorrow in Albay. (Dec-03, OCHA) NDCC has asked the United Nations to provide satellite imagery of areas hit by landslides. (Dec-01, UN)


Typhoon Durian is the fourth typhoon to strike the Philippines in as many months. In late September, Typhoon Xangsane (local name: Milenyo) cut across Luzon , leaving over 250 people dead in the Philippines and Vietnam . It was the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since 1998. Like Durian, Xangsane had cut through southern Luzon and northern Visayas. It caused millions of dollars in damage to the Philippines and some damaged areas are still recovering from the effects of Xangsane. In October, powerful Typhoon Cimaron (local name: Paeng) killed 19 people and injured 58 others. Earlier in November, Typhoon Chebi (local name: Queenie) cut through Luzon , killing one person.

The largest numbers of casualties have been caused by landslides or floods caused by typhoons. In 1991, more than 5,000 people died in the central island of Leyte in floods triggered by Typhoon Thelma. In 2004, a series of typhoons and tropical storms left about 1,800 people dead or missing, including 480 who were killed when mudslides struck three towns in eastern Quezon province in the Luzon region.

Around 20 typhoon and tropical storms strike the Philippines each year. The Philippine typhoon season generally coincides with the annual wet season from June to November, although there are occasional typhoons in December.