ACAPS Briefing Note – Philippines Tropical Storm Tembin – 28 December 2017
On 22 December tropical storm Tembin hit Mindanao island in the Philippines, affecting more than 715,000 people. More than 138,000 people remain displaced.
Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur provinces in Mindanao were severely impacted with 41,000 and 59,000 affected people respectively. Shelter and NFI needs are high, with at least 1,600 houses destroyed across the entire affected area. There are elevated protection concerns in areas affected by the Marawi conflict (May–October 2017), which led to the estimated displacement of more than 353,000 people.
On 22 December, tropical storm Tembin (locally known as Vinta) hit Mindanao island in the Philippines, before making a second landfall on 23 December on Palawan island, further west (IFRC 25/12/2017). An estimated 715,354 persons (151,354 families) have been affected in eight regions and 24 provinces (DSWD 28/12/2017), and the number continues to rise. Heavy rains caused severe flash floods and landslides in Cagayan de Oro City as well as in several towns in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces (OCHA 26/12/2017). 240 deaths have been reported and the number of casualties is expected to rise as over 300 people remain missing and assessments are still being carried out (RFI 26/12/2017; IFRC 26/12/2017). The provinces of Lanao del Norte (in Region X) and Lanao del Sur (in Autonomous Region in Autonomous Mindanao (ARMM)) have been severely impacted: 98,984 people are affected in Region X, including 40,889 in Lanao del Norte; and 175,877 people are affected in ARMM, including 59,342 in Lanao del Sur (DSWD 28/12/2017).
As of 28 December, in total, 138,745 people are displaced, 112,553 of whom are staying in 204 evacuation centres. The remaining 26,192 displaced are hosted by friends and family. The regions hosting the highest number of displaced in evacuation centres are Region IX (17,367), Region X (29,776 including 18,460 in Lanao del Norte) and Region XI (51,415). In ARMM, 8,500 displaced people are currently staying in evacuation centres, including 1,025 in Lanao del Sur. About 66% of the displaced staying with family and friends (17,295) are located in Region XII (DSWD 28/12/2017).
Shelter and NFIs: At least 2,628 houses have been damaged across the affected area, 1,630 of which were destroyed and 998 partially damaged. The provinces reporting the highest number of damaged houses are Zamboanga del Norte (879 houses damaged including 683 totally destroyed), Lanao del Norte (1,129 houses damaged including 535 totally destroyed) and Lanao del Sur (528 houses damaged including 348 totally destroyed) (DSWD 28/12/2017).
Food: Extensive damage to agriculture has been reported due to the combined effects of the storm, flash floods, and landslides. The damage has a direct impact on livelihoods of the population living in affected areas. However, figures on the numbers of hectares of crops damaged remain unreported. Food stocks have also been washed away or depleted (IFRC 26/12/2017; ECHO 26/12/2017).
WASH: The WASH situation is critical as the population of some areas is reported to be left without access to safe water-sources and water kits have either been destroyed or washed away (ECHO 26/12/2017). The lack of clean water supply increases the risk of disease outbreak, particularly for children (BBC 24/12/2017).
Health: Vector-borne and water-borne diseases are expected to be of concern in the coming weeks. (AHA Centre 27/12/2017)
Protection is a key concern for the displaced in Marawi, where the risk of looting and theft, family separation, and gender-based violence – already reported before the storm – are elevated. (UNHCR 13/12/2017)
Impact on critical infrastructure
Infrastructure is underdeveloped in Mindanao, especially in ARMM (Asian Development Bank 15/12/2017). Roads, bridges and power transmission lines were damaged during the storm (IFRC 26/12/2017).
Humanitarian and operational constraints
Roads and bridges have been damaged or destroyed by floods and landslides which makes the delivery of aid to affected population more difficult (IFRC 26/12/2017). As of 24 December, sea travel remained risky (DSWD 26/12/2017). Initial assessments reported most affected areas were inaccessible as of 23 December, though access is likely improving (IFRC 23/12/2017).
Vulnerable groups affected
Conflict-affected host communities, IDPs, and returnees in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, remain highly vulnerable following active hostilities in Marawi from May to October this year between the Philippine military and Islamist armed groups (Amnesty International 17/11/2017; ECHO 26/12/2017). The areas worst affected by the fighting and destruction were home to an estimated 41,800 people (9,500 households) (OCHA 12/2017). Some IDPs in Marawi who were living in tents prior to the storm, were relocated in schools buildings (DSWD 26/12/2017). However, both those displaced and those recently returned face elevated levels of vulnerability. Continued multi-sectoral support to IDPs as well as returnees, including food and protection, was identified as necessary before the storm (OCHA 12/2017). The number of displaced persons due to conflict was estimated at 353,921 as of 22 October. A total of 87,306 individuals are estimated to have returned as of 8 December, though many more will be unable to return quickly due to destruction in the city (UNHCR 13/12/2017).