Typhoon Bopha Relief Ops Update #01 - Relief Reaches Devastated Davao
MR teams deliver and distribute S$30,000 worth of aid at Compostella and New Bataan
Tuesday, 11 December - Singapore humanitarian outfit Mercy Relief’s (MR) second response team joined its first team at the severely affected province of Compostella Valley on Saturday morning. Working alongside the largest NGO in the Philippines, the Citizens' Disaster Response Centre (CDRC), 1,000 relief packs comprising food and non-food essentials including hygiene kits and jerry cans were locally procured and distributed to more 1,000 families across the municipalities of Compostella and New Bataan.
Two of the NGO’s own manual-powered water filtration systems, PedalPure, were also deployed to allow for much needed potable and clean water supply to the victims, after most of the water sources and supply have been contaminated and damaged by Category Four Typhoon Bopha. Another 200 sets of tarpaulins, including tools and building materials, were distributed to help provide the distressed communities with temporary shelters and repair their damaged homes. Total value of the relief items is S$30,000.
On Monday, the MR teams were awoken by tremors of a 5.6 Richter earthquake with the epicenter at Davao Oriental. The teams treaded cautiously around the New Bataan and Compostella areas while carrying out the relief efforts due to aftershocks which pose the risks of landslides.
MR’s Chief Executive Hassan Ahmad commented, “Access to the most severely affected areas is very challenging for all aid agencies due to the mountainous piles of debris caused by the winds, floods and landslides. We were in northern Mindanao last year for the Storm Washi relief efforts. Typhoon Bopha is at least 5 times worse in terms of wind strength and the scale of devastation caused. The next most important thing besides food and water is shelter. Hence, MR is also distributing tarpaulins (huge canvass sheets) to allow the affected families to return to and repair their damaged homes such that they would be protected from the natural elements such as winds, rains and the sun. Importantly, this would also help ease the congestion at the already-overcrowded evacuation centres and thus minimise the risk of breakout of diseases. But much more needs to be done, and quickly, as many are still homeless, cold and hungry, including the sick and children.”
Last Thursday, CDRC and the Philippines government made a direct and general appeal respectively, for international assistance after Typhoon Bopha struck the southern island of Mindanao, displacing more than 300,000 people with at least 647 lives perished. MR’s first team reached the devastated areas of Davao and Compostella early Friday morning, within 20 hours of the appeals.
A public fundraising has been launched from 7th Dec to 31st Dec 2012 to support MR’s aid efforts for the victims of Typhoon Bopha.