Philippines: Typhoon Durian (Reming) - DREF Bulletin no. MDRPH003

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in over 185 countries.

In Brief

This DREF Bulletin is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 100,000 (USD 83,300 or EUR 63,000) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) in initial assessment and relief distribution. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals o t meet the Federation's mission to 'improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity'.

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

The Situation

At least 260 people are reported dead and many more are trapped by floods and landslides in the latest typhoon (Durian) disaster to strike the Philippines.

Several thousands of families have been evacuated in the Bicol region. It is still unclear whether they will be allowed to return home soon. At least 3,316 families in the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon are being provided with temporary shelter by the local authorities.

Typhoon Durian (Philippines name Reming) made landfall in Catanduanes at 12 midnight yesterday with sustained winds of 190 kph near the centre and gusts of up to 225 kph. The typhoon wreaked havoc in Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Mindoro, parts of Camarines Norte and Sur, Marinduque, Mindoro, Batangas and Laguna. It missed Metro Manila by some 80 km and is now on its way towards the South China Sea.

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) chapters have sent initial damage reports but at this point communication is down with some of the most affected areas, including Catanduanes and Sorsogon. First estimates of damage in these provinces will hopefully be obtained tomorrow (Saturday) when at least the military expect to have reinstalled their HF antennas. Albay is still covered by some 5 feet of water as one dike has given way.

Late Friday it was still raining and secondary effects including landslides are to be expected throughout the affected provinces.

The Philippines has been hit repeatedly recently. On 27 September it was severely hit by Typhoon Xangsane (Philippines name Milenyo), which resulted in the Philippines Red Cross, supported by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, launching and international emergency appeal.

Within one month Super (category 5) Typhoon Cimaron (Philippines name Paeng) severely damaged homes, schools and health centers in the provinces of Isabela and Aurora. It was quickly followed by typhoon Chebi (Philippines name Queenie), which further affected the same areas as Paeng on 12 November 2006.

For a review of recent operation reports from the Philippines, please <click here>

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Philippine National Red Cross' (PNRC) 24/7 operations centre has been monitoring the path of the typhoon from its beginnings. The disaster management service is collecting information from chapters and is coordinating its response with the national disaster coordinating council, presided over by the Philippine President, Mrs. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

PNRC has deployed two assessment teams by road. Both were on standby since November 29: team one to monitor the impact of the typhoon in the provinces of Sorsogon and Albay; and team to to check on Camarines Sur and Quezon. The teams comprise a team leader and experts in relief, logistics, water and sanitation, and psycho-social support. These teams will provide a comprehensive overview of the damage to allow PNRC to quickly prepare its emergency response. Their findings will inform the national society as to whether it is appropriate to request an additional International Federation appeal or revise the existing one for typhoon Xangsane/Milenyo (still under-funded).

The tactical rescue team was sent to assist those in flooded areas. The 10-member team will staff a first aid station and conduct rescue operations with the help of two rubber boats.

More teams will be fielded if incoming damage reports indicate it is appropriate. Red Cross chapters have started packing relief goods for distribution to the most affected families.

The Federation delegation in Manila is closely monitoring the evolving situation and is supporting the activities of the Philippine National Red Cross. An 11-person support team (10 members of the SE Asia regional disaster response team (RDRT) and one member of the Federation's field assessment coordination team (FACT) has been called for to support PNRC colleagues on the ground.

Coordination is maintained with the authorities through the PNRC's full membership in the national disaster coordinating council (NDCC) and the various coordinating councils at the provincial level (PDCC).

Map: Philippines: Typhoon Durian - Situation map

For further information:

Philippine National Red Cross: Corazon Alma De Leon (secretary-general); email hls@skyinet.net; phone: +63.2.527.0854; or Benjamin Delfin II , DMS manager; email benjamindelfin@yahoo.com; phone: + 63.2.444.0103

Federation country delegation in Philippines: Roger Bracke (head of delegation);email: roger.bracke@ifrc.org; phone +63.917.880.6844; telefax:+63.2.524.3151

Federation Southeast Asia regional delegation in Thailand: Bekele Geleta (head of regional delegation;) email bekele.geleta@ifrc.org; phone + 66.2.661.8201 ext 100; Alan Bradbury( regional programme coordinator); email: alan.bradbury@ifrc.org; phone +66.2.661.8201; or Michael Annear( head of regional disaster management unit);email: Michael.annear@ifrc.org; phone + 66.2.661.8201

Federation Secretariat in Geneva (Asia Pacific department): Gert Venghaus (regional officer); email: gert.venghaus@ifrc.org; phone: + 41.2.730.4258; fax:+ 41.22.733.0395; or Sabine Feuglet ( senior assistant); email: sabine.feuglet@ifrc.org: phone:+ 41 22.730.43.49 ; Fax:+ 41.22.733.0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere)i n delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org