Philippines

Typhoons - Preliminary Emergency Appeal - no MDRPH007

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This Preliminary Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 3,550,719 in cash, kind, or services to support the Philippines Red Cross to assist 50,000 families (250,000 persons) for 8 months. The operation will be completed by 31 May 2012 and a final report will be made available by 31 August 2012 (three months after the end of operation).

CHF 280,000 was allocated from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support this operation. Unearmarked funds to replenish DREF are encouraged.

Summary:

Typhoon Nesat pounded the Philippines early Tuesday, 27 September 2011, with strong gusts and heavy rains, triggering floods and widespread damage. It made landfall over Isabela and Aurora provinces and although it weakened as it made its way across land, adverse conditions were reported across the entire island of Luzon. The typhoon fuelled monsoon rains, resulting in overflowing rivers and extensive flooding. In some mountainous provinces, landslides triggered by continuous rains blocked roads, rendering the areas inaccessible. Release of water from several reservoirs has worsened the situation, and up to now, several cities and villages remain submerged.

Even before the country could recover, another powerful storm, Typhoon Nalgae, struck on Saturday, 1 October 2011, following almost the same route as Typhoon Nesat. Nalgae hit Isabela province and although it did not cause widespread adverse conditions, heavy rains in the Cordillera mountain region pose a new threat of flash floods and landslides as water from the soaked slopes makes its way to tributaries and rivers in Central Luzon.

The back-to-back typhoons have left swathes isolated, with parts of Bulacan, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga submerged as of this moment. The authorities have projected that the floodwaters would take days, if not weeks, to recede.

The latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update indicates that the combined effects of the two typhoons have led to at least 59 deaths and 70 injuries, with 31 people still missing.

More than 3.2 million people have been affected, more than 80 per cent of them in Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon regions. Thousands have opted not to leave their homes, and instead moved to the rooftops of their inundated houses. The national weather bureau has warned that there is the potential for a third storm hitting later this week, which would exacerbate the already dire predicament of communities struggling to recover. There is, therefore, an urgent need for affected families to be provided with immediate relief assistance.