Situation report Philippines - Typhoon Ondoy

Situation Report
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Tropical Storm "Ketsana," locally known as "Ondoy," swept across metro Manila and parts of Central Luzon on Saturday, September 26, 2009, and brought a month's worth of rain in just 12 hours. The waters rose so fast that people living in low lying areas were caught unaware and had to stay on the roofs of their houses to avoid being swept away by the floods. At least 140 died from the storm, and more than 450,000 people have been displaced and have sought shelter in schools, churches and other evacuation shelters.

Electricity has been cut in submerged areas for safety reasons; generators and water systems have been damaged by floodwater as well. Public and private infrastructure and property as well as agriculture have been destroyed or damaged.

In the evacuation centers, cramped conditions and limited water and sanitation facilities pose the risk of worsening health conditions. Nutrition is also a concern, given the irregular provision of instant food products.

Areas most impacted

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of National Defense responsible for ensuring the protection and welfare of the people during disasters or emergencies, has issued a State of National Calamity in the following areas:

  • National Capital Region (NCR - 58,161 persons affected)
  • CAR: Mt. Province, Ifugao, Benguet
  • Region I: Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur
  • Region II: Isabela, Quirino, Neuva Vizcaya
  • Region III (South Luzon): Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Tarlac, Bataan (216,415 persons affected)
  • Region IV-A (Central Luzon)-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon (148,504 persons affected)
  • Region IV-B: Mindoro (Occidental and Oriental), Marinduque
  • Region V: Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur
The worst hit areas are Manila, Muntinlupa and Taguig in the NCR, Bulacan and Pampanga in Central Luzon, and Laguna and Batangas in South Luzon.

The NDCC has deployed several assets (personnel, 12 ambulances, 33 M35 trucks, 59 rubber boats, 112 other vehicles) along with assistance from the U.S. embassy (personnel, 2 watercraft, 1 chopper, 8 island cruisers). A total of 7,908 persons have been saved through their combined effort.

PDA Response

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is working with our partners, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). The NCCP has been monitoring the situation through its member churches, regional ecumenical councils and people's organizations in the affected areas. Local churches in the affected communities have been immediately opening their premises as evacuation and relief centers and providing basic humanitarian assistance of food, drinking water, nonfood relief items, basic medicines and personal hygiene necessities.

Action by Churches Together (ACT) is cooperating to provide assistance to poor urban communities in the riverside areas of Quezon City; there, in addition to the loss of homes and possessions, most residents have also lost their means of livelihood as factory workers, tricycle drivers and small vendors. ACT is preparing a package of relief goods, including food, water, clothes, candles, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, pots and pans, etc., that will be distributed to the most vulnerable families affected in this region.

ACT is preparing an international ACT appeal to provide additional assistance of food, drinking water, nonfood relief items, basic medicines and personal hygiene items. Support for local partners will include transportation, communications and operational support for volunteers and relief coordinators as well as design of relief packages that are compliant with Sphere Minimum Standards of disaster relief, monitoring and reporting.

What you can do

You can stand in the gap for disaster survivors and help the church in this response.

GIVE. The generous sharing of your financial blessings through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering and special designated giving provides the resources needed to assist with immediate emergency needs, cleanup provisions, long-term and unmet needs and spiritual/emotional counseling.

Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, on the secure PC(USA) Web site or by sending their check to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Please include the special designated giving account DR000012-Philippines.

Congregations should send donations through their normal mission giving channels.