As of 22 December, a total of 2.6 million individuals or 678,043 families are affected in Regions V, VI, VII, VIII,
IX, X, XI, XII, MIMAROPA (IV-B) and Caraga (XIII) in 4,750 barangays or villages. Around 662,000 people are displaced in these regions with 418,371 individuals still in evacuation centers, though many are now slowly returning home. As of 21 December, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported at least 177 deaths, 275 injured, and 38 missing persons; with only nine fatalities and two injuries validated so far.
A total of 159,842 houses are reportedly damaged; 61,918 are totally damaged and 97,924 are partially damaged, though the numbers are still expected to increase. According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the estimated partial cost of damage to infrastructure across all affected regions is P213.9 million ($.4.2 million)
Six days after the typhoon made landfall, there are still 208 municipalities with power outages and 75 flooded areas in the ten affected regions. Initial data on the economic impact of the typhoon is beginning to emerge, with 23,000 hectares of rice and 12,750 farmers affected so far, and an estimated value of US$67 million in losses.
In the hardest hit areas, humanitarian needs and gaps are high across all sectors and the humanitarian situation may further deteriorate if these needs are not addressed immediately. A challenge at the local level is that most local governments have already spent their budget at this time of the year due to their response to the year-long COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial reports from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, are now coming in. Major utilities such as water, power and telecoms/internet are down without any indication of a timeframe for restoration. On 22 December, the Roxas local government reported that the impact on agriculture and livestock is significant with over 80 per cent of it being damaged. Hospitals and health centers have been damaged by winds and flooding, as well as some 80 per cent of schools and markets. There are no inbound/outbound flights available. The Langogan Bridge in Puerto Princesa is partially damaged, allowing only motorcycles to pass. This damage cuts off land transport of people and supplies between Puerto Princesa City and the northern part of Palawan Island. All communication lines are down as well as electricity, while Western Union and Palawan Pawnshop are closed for sending remittances. No information is available yet about other municipalities in the region.
Food insecurity is high across affected communities due to food shortages and maintenance of adequate nutritional status, especially among children, elderly and lactating women. This is exacerbated by the existing needs in WASH. Drinking water is limited and WASH facilities are not maintained due to the unavailability of water. In Dinagat Islands, water systems were destroyed, as well as reservoirs and pipes because of landslides.
As a result of gaps in food and WASH, health issues are starting to emerge. Children are starting to catch fever, colds, and coughs. Physical distancing and use of protective equipment such as masks are no longer observed in many evacuation centres. Local authorities emphasized the need for anti-tetanus and antileptospirosis medicines, as well as COVID-19 prevention items.
The lack of protective measures in islands where almost all structures were wiped out, may heighten the risks of GBV, particularly to women and girls. The existence of debris, fallen trees, ripped galvanized iron sheets, etc., may pose a danger to children, as some of them do not have proper clothing or footwear. There is very little information on how persons with disabilities are affected.
The majority of houses are made of light materials and were destroyed by the typhoon, while houses made of concrete also sustained damage. Several actions to repair shelter and the installation of alternative temporary shelter with COVID-19 measures have been implemented. CCCM structures and systems are required for the existence of protective measures.
According to the Department of Education, 11 regions, 121 divisions, 269,671 schools and 12,029,272 learners were affected by typhoon Odette. Schools have been used as evacuation centers and because of the high number of damaged houses, the stay in ECs could be extended.
Access and delivery of humanitarian aid remains a significant challenge. Fuel is in short supply and prices have increased, making it difficult for people to move around and access the islands. Efforts are also being made to restore electricity and telecommunications, but there are still areas that rely on satellite phone connectivity, which is also in short supply. Not all humanitarian responders have such equipment readily available and in sufficient quantity.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.