Flash floods triggered by Tropical Storm Washi in the southern region of the Philippines has claimed the lives of close to one thousand people, mostly women and children, and the government of the Philippines has declared the situation a national calamity.
Development and Peace is currently in contact with its partner organizations in the region, including Caritas Philippines (locally known as NASSA), who are assessing the damage and needs of those affected. It is estimated that 34,298 families, totalling 167,460 people, are directly suffering consequences from the floods and over 88,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centres.
Eight cities and 13 provinces are touched by the floods, with the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City as the most affected.
“Because Mindanao is not used to having storms like this, many people were caught unprepared,” says Bishop Broderick Pabillo, auxiliary bishop of Manila. “This may be a result of climate change - typhoons come at times and in places where they usually do not. This storm cost a lot of human lives and caused a lot of damage,” he reports.
Currently, the main issue arising is a shortage of safe drinking water as main water lines have been washed away.
Caritas Internationalis is currently preparing an appeal for humanitarian aid in the region. Development and Peace is accepting donations from the Canadian public to go towards this appeal and those from other local partner organizations.
Donations can be made by phone (1 888 234-8533), online at www.devp.org or by sending a cheque made out to Development and Peace (please indicate Philippines Floods) to the following address:
Development and Peace
1425 René-Lévesque Blvd. W, 3rd Floor
Montreal, QC H3G 1T7