The death toll from the flash flooding in the Philippines caused by the heavy rains that accompanied Saturday’s typhoon is now believed to have exceeded 1000 with more than 1500 people reported injured. Many people are still missing and with 10,000 homes either completely or partially destroyed, thousands have been forced to seek refuge in evacuation centres.
Colm Byrne, Head of International Department at the Irish Red Cross, said the devastation in the area was unprecedented. “Our Red Cross partners on the ground in the Philippines have experienced many disasters but this one is the worst as some of the survivors have lost so many family members,” he said. “One family has lost as many as 30 relatives.”
The Red Cross relief operation will prioritize the provision of the most immediate needs including food, water and shelter materials as well as first aid to those affected. This includes delivering food, blankets, sleeping mats and shelter to families in the worst affected areas of Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro in Northern Mindanao region.
More than 600 volunteers and staff have been active since the storm hit. Teams have been involved in search and rescue, as well as supporting people in evacuation centres by providing hot meals, distributing food packs and setting up first aid posts. The Red Cross has also dispatched emergency supplies of food and non-food items for 5,000 families from Manila and Davao to the affected area as Red Cross response teams on the ground continue to assess the situation.