Emergency humanitarian assistance to typhoon-affected populations in the Philippines


Location of operation: Philippines

Amount of Decision: EUR 2,000,000

Decision reference number: ECHO/PHL/BUD/2006/01000

Explanatory Memorandum

1 - Rationale, needs and target population.

1.1. - Rationale :

Between 27 September and 6 December 2006 four typhoons (Xangsane, Cimaron, Chebi and Durian) hit the Philippines. Typhoons are not uncommon in the region and most of the communities affected are accustomed to facing them. In general people have developed coping mechanisms to deal with the couple of dozen or so typhoons that strike each year. Early Warning Systems at the national level warn the local populations and evacuations with the assistance of the authorities and the involvement of the local Red Cross volunteers start on time to reduce the impact on lives and livelihoods. But the scale and frequency of this year's storms have left many people struggling to recover and local disaster response capacities have been exhausted and overwhelmed.

In the Philippines these typhoons caused extensive damage over a widespread geographical area including at least 20 provinces, of which five have been affected by more than one typhoon. The impact of typhoons Xangsane, Cimaron and Chebi resulted in pockets of major concentrated damage. Typhoon Durian reached the Philippines on 30 November 2006. Hitting Catanduanes with sustained winds of 190 kph near the centre and speeding up to 225 kph, the typhoon wreaked havoc in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Mindoro Oriental and Occidental, parts of Camarines Norte and Sur, Marinduque, Batangas, Quezon and Laguna. It then struck the province of Albay and Sorsogon once more causing flooding and landslides. Increased volcanic activity of Mt. Mayon and Bulusan during the summer covered the surrounding areas with volcanic ash which was now washed away by rainfall to cover other areas. Some of the evacuation centres were also destroyed; large numbers of affected people are finding temporary shelter in transitional centres like churches and schools or staying with relatives. Continuous rainfall in the affected area is further aggravating the situation and it is feared that the area cannot withstand further rains and flooding. Typhoon Utar arrived in the same area on 10 December 2006.

According to the National Disaster Coordination Council (NDCC) as of 12 December 2006, 643,927 families or 3,160,703 persons in 3,042 barangays of the 160 municipalities and 13 cities in 14 provinces of Regions IV-A, IV-B and V were affected. 19,484 families or 95,926 persons were evacuated to 531 designated evacuation centres. 715 people died, 2,174 were injured and 764 are missing. In total, 519,263 houses were damaged; 211,032 totally and 308,231 partially.

The President declared a state of national disaster and later on requested international assistance. Damage to properties(1) amounts to PhP 3,321,755,923.05 (~EUR 50,530,000), infrastructure PhP 1,325,776,000.00 (~EUR 20,170,000), schools 1,456,438,050.00 (~EUR 22,159,000) and agriculture PhP 539,541,873.05 (EUR 8,209,000). The impact of losses on the rice and corn production is minimal primarily because most crops have already been harvested this time and most farmlands are just being prepared for the coming cropping season.

Between 5 and 9 December 2006 DG ECHO(2) undertook an assessment mission to the typhoon-affected province of Albay, Philippines.

Earlier in 2006, DG ECHO had ceased its relief activities in the Philippines. However, DG ECHO will launch disaster risk reduction activities under the Fifth DIPECHO South East Asia Action Plan (ECHO/DIP/BUD/2006/01000) in which the Philippines has been reincluded to further enhance the existing disaster risk reduction capacity.


(1) As of 9 December 2006

(2) Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid - ECHO