On 18 December Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) exited the Philippine zone of responsibility having made 9 landfalls in its path and leaving 1,805,005 people affected (452,307 families), 58 fatalities and 3,286 barangays affected in 9 regions, though the number are still expected to increase. Within 72 hours after the landfall, response efforts are underway and the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has identified needs and is mounting the response operation in close coordination with the government. The regions most affected by the typhoon are IV-B, V, VI, VII, VIII, X, XI, Miparopa, BARMM and Caraga.
The typhoon's peak winds of up to 235 km/h and torrential rains tore off roofs, toppled structures and, in 41 areas in four regions, caused severe flooding and landslides. The effectiveness of the pre-emptive evacuation of 376,719 people reduced the typhoon's impact, although in some areas, due to flooding, several evacuation centres were affected. Due to the levels of structural vulnerability in the affected areas, many houses are constructed of lightweight materials; around 54,783 houses have been damaged by the high winds.
According to the DRRMC and DSWD, some of the affected areas were and/or are still isolated after the typhoon's landfall. About 227 cities/municipalities suffered power outages and so far, only nine percent or 21 cities/municipalities have been restored. Due to the severity of the typhoon, it is estimated that some cities may be without access to electricity for up to three months. Another challenge is that there are still 40 cities/municipalities without telecommunications out of the 135 cities municipalities that experienced telecom interruptions, so it is difficult to analyze the level of damage. In addition, many cities are having problems accessing cash, as the banking system is down, as well as several hospitals in the affected regions are not functioning; 22 roads have been affected, making it difficult for humanitarian aid to reach them.
In accordance with the government’s Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis, as well as HCT and Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) assessments conducted over the weekend, priority needs include family food packs and non-food items, access to potable water and hygiene kits, emergency shelter repair kits and temporary shelter, fuel, medical supplies, restore access to all affected areas, as well as protection services. Affected people expressed the preference of cash assistance to access local markets where they had been restored.
As of 19 December, a new weather system was forming over the Pacific, likely to bring more rains to eastern Visayas and Bicol regions over 24 and 25 December. Scaling up humanitarian support was urgent not least to avoid any further hazardous weather exposure and harm to already affected communities.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.