Philippines: Tropical Storm Fung-Wong - Information Bulletin n° 1

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This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Philippine Red Cross has determined that external assistance is not required for this operation, and is therefore not seeking funding or other assistance from donors at this time.

The situation

Starting Friday, 19 September 2014, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was promoted to mount an emergency operation following severe flooding brought by heavy rains fuelled by Tropical Storm Fung-Wong (locally known as Mario). So far, the National Society has been able to take 670 people – who were trapped by floodwater – to safety and served ready-to-eat hot meals to some 20,000 people who have sought safer shelter in evacuation centres.

Tropical Storm Fung-Wong made landfall on 19 September 2014 morning, over the northern tip of Cagayan Province of Luzon Island with maximum winds of 85 kilometres per hour (kph) near the centre, and gustiness of up to 100 kilometres per hour. Although it just brushed the northern tip of Cagayan province, its effects enhanced heavy rains that brought flooding in low lying areas of Luzon, including Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan and Rizal. The flooding prompted the suspension of classes at all levels of learning, and disrupted office work and businesses. Essential services were brought to a standstill in the worst-affected parts, with several roads rendered impassable (as they were covered in deep floodwater or blocked by landslides) and electricity supply interrupted.

According to the update released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Monday 22 September 2014 morning, effects of Tropical Storm Fung-Wong have left at least 11 people dead, 12 injured and two missing. Some 259,000 families (around 1.1 million people) have been affected across 27 provinces, with some 30,200 families (around 129,700 people) currently accommodated in 324 evacuation centres. It is expected that these families will start going back to their residences as floodwater subsides.

As well as forcing thousands of families to evacuation centres, the floods have disrupted livelihoods, with the total damage wrought to agriculture valued at PHP 48.5 million (approximately CHF 1 million). At least 425 families are now homeless after their houses were destroyed while 1,710 others will have to undertake repair works before they can return to their homes, which were damaged by the floods.
While the worst seems over for now, rains still continue to pour in some areas although they are expected to ease.

Classes remained suspended in Valenzuela City of Metro Manila and in some areas of the province of Rizal.