Philippines: Aid teams head into typhoon zone

Report
from World Vision
Published on 01 Dec 2006
One of the areas worst hit by the typhoon is Albay province, also affected earlier this year by the possibility of volcanic eruption from Mt Mayon

Vision Philippines is set to dispatch a relief assessment team aboard a military Hercules C-130 into a province hit by 265km per hour winds where villages were thumped by super-typhoon Durian.

Three assessment team members are hoping to fly into the island province of Catanduanes on Saturday, December 2 following a special appeal from the province's governor. No video or media report has come out from Catanduanes to date, despite it being hit by the typhoon's most powerful gusts.

It is thought that damage could be more severe in Catanduanes than elsewhere, even though scores of people outside this province are already known to have been killed. No World Vision Area Development Programme is located in Catanduanes.

The super-typhoon is so far reported to have possibly killed more than 300 people, affected some 22,000 people across North and Central Philippines and left 11,000 homeless.

Two other World Vision Philippines assessment teams totalling ten staff are going to head in by road to Legaspi City, Albay province, where a number of villages are thought to have been buried in mud. Both provinces are in the central Bicol region through which the typhoon swept, after crossing the Philippines from Thursday.

The challenge for World Vision Philippines is where to focus its relief efforts and how to gain access.

On the basis of the teams' assessments the office will then decide how much to appeal for in funding and what aid must have priority. Clothing aid is already being prepared.

One of the worst affected areas is the foothills of the rumbling Mayon volcano in Albay Province southeast of Manila, where several villages have been hit by mudslides.

Albay is normally about 12 hours - or some 350km - by road from Manila. Telephone communications have been severely disrupted, bridges and sections or road are reported destroyed.

The relief effort is being led by HEA director Boy Bersales, who will by flying on the C-130.

Contacts:

Diwa A. Gacosta, Communications Officer (based in Manila) Office Number(s) and extension: (+63)-2-374-7618 to 28 loc 151 Mobile: (+63)- 9209029167 E-mail address (work): diwa_gacosta@wvi.org