Philippines Humanitarian Country Team - Tulunan, North Cotabato Earthquakes Humanitarian Needs and Priorities (November 2019 - May 2020)

Key Figures

As of 12 November (DSWD )

1.5 M population in severely affected areas

262,600 people affected and in need of assistance

48,000 people displaced and in recognized evacuation centres

38,000 houses damaged and destroyed

100,000 people targeted for shelter/CCCM assistance

19.8M required funding (US$) (1B Philippine Peso)

SITUATION OVERVIEW

On the morning of 29 October 2019, an earthquake of magnitude-6.6 at a depth of seven kilometres struck an area 25 kilometres southeast of the municipality of Tulunan in North Cotabato province, with another magnitude-6.5 earthquake occurring in the same vicinity on 31 October at a shallow depth of two kilometres. Both earthquakes were tectonic in origin, with each event followed by many small to strong aftershocks. These two earthquakes were preceded by an earlier magnitude-6.3 earthquake recorded in the same epicentre location of Tulunan on 16 October. The earthquakes caused ground shaking and soil liquefaction followed by multiple landslides and debris flows, in particular in mountainous areas, as well as flooding of several barangays (villages) as the result of damaged dikes. Many locations that were struck belong to the most underdeveloped and conflict-affected areas of the Philippines.

As of 14 November, more than 262,000 people affected are in need of assitance . The most severely affected provinces are Davao del Sur and North Cotabato. The earthquakes triggered substantial displacement as a result of destroyed, damaged or unsafe homes. More than 48,000 people are currently staying in evacuation centres, and around 59,000 are staying with host families. The municipality of Makilala in North Cotabato has been hit the hardest, with around 100,000 people affected, of which many are currently staying in makeshift shelters or open grounds. The number of reported casualties, people affected and damage to homes and infrastructure is expected to increase, as assessments are ongoing and the full impact of the earthquakes is being verified.

As of 14 November, over 23,000 homes are destroyed and 15,000 partially damaged, mostly in the municipalities of Makilala and Tulunan in North Cotabato. Evacuated families are concerned that their damaged houses are structurally compromised. Many are staying in makeshift shelters next to their homes or in nearby open spaces such as roadsides, which exposes them to monsoon rains, hail storms, health and protection concerns. Because of the risks posed by additional landslides and damaged buildings, the entire population of eight barangays in Makilala had to be evacuated and moved to evacuation sites after the third earthquake.

The Consolidated Assessment Report by the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) identified acute needs in the areas of emergency shelter, camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and emergency education. The current lack of sufficient WASH facilities and subsequent poor sanitary conditions increase the risk of hygiene-related diseases. This is particularly concerning considering the recent polio outbreak in parts of Mindanao. Initial assessments also highlighted increased protection risks and emphasized the need to prioritize sectoral interventions that are sensitive to and address people’s protection needs, particularly psychosocial support and counselling. Considering the nature of the disaster and the structural damage to buildings and infrastructure, displacement in many affected areas is anticipated to continue for at least one year (IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix Report #2). With prolonged displacement, the importance of addressing needs in health, food security and agriculture, and nutrition is expected to increase. This HNP covers period of six months. It will be reviewed and revised after one month in light of new assessments and prioritisation of needs.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
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