Americares relief workers in the Philippines have been working to assist communities impacted by Super Typhoon Rai (locally known as Odette), which made landfall Dec. 16, bringing devastating winds, torrential rain and massive flooding. Rai made nine landfalls in seven provinces, with wind gusts up to 168 mph, devastating communities in its path.
Super Typhoon Odette left 10 regions severely damaged and impacted the lives of more than 7 million people. Damage was extensive to infrastructure, livelihoods, food production as well as damaging 830,000 homes, 240,000 of which are listed as totally destroyed. Almost half a million people were displaced and impacts to the local health systems are severe. Over 140 health facilities have been damaged, including: 50 hospitals, 45 Barangay Health Stations, 41 Rural Health Units and other local health facilities/offices. This impact led to increased strain on an already precarious situation.
At the same time, the Philippines has experienced a surge in Omicron Covid-19 cases, which has resulted in tighter restrictions being implemented across the capital region, where over 13 million people reside.
In total the ER Team deployed nearly 15 local roster members to 4 specific locations: Cebu, Bohol, Southern Leyte and Caraga. The teams worked closely with both international coordinating systems and local Barangays/Municipalities to meet survivor needs by distributing prepositioned medicines, medical supplies and equipment across 9 facilities in the impacted areas. The pre-positioned relief supplies, including Hygiene Kits, WASH Kits, IPC Kits, Jerry Cans, Aquatabs, medical supplies and 2 generators to support survivors and health centers in affected communities. Other shipments of critical relief supplies have been completed.
Having prepared in advance of the storm, Americares Philippines team quickly mobilized emergency response teams. Teams include Americares Philippines staff and roster members from the affected regions.
Update on Storm Activity in Philippines
On April 10, tropical depression “Agaton” made landfall and made its way North over Basey Samar Province with maximum winds of 65 km/h. The slow nature of Agaton has resulted in floods, flash floods and landslides. It has been reported a total of 136,390 individuals from 201 Barangays (villages) across 8 regions have been affected as well as impacts to local infrastructure. Additionally, there have been reports of 25 casualties as a result of floods and landslides. Flash floods and continuous heavy rain in Cebu prompted the declaration of a State of Calamity for the entire city. The National Government has indicated that they have enough resources to support the affected populations and the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Coast Guards are active in evacuations of affected population and providing of relief items.
As of April 11, another storm outside Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) with an international name “Malakas”, is likely to enter PAR overnight and into April 12. However, it is not expected that Malakas will have any significant impact to populations. As always, our Philippines team is ready to respond to emergencies as they occur as well as actively working with health facilities to better prepare them for the effects of extreme weather and other catastrophic events.