UN and humanitarian partners appeal for US$28 million for immediate needs of flash flood victims in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities in southern Philippines
Manila, Philippines, 25 December 2011 - The United Nations and humanitarian partners called for US$28.6 million to support the Government of the Philippines to respond to the serious humanitarian needs caused by the devastating Tropical Storm Sendong (international code name “Washi”) in Northern Mindanao.
The Emergency Revision of the Philippines (Mindanao) Humanitarian Action Plan 2012 aims to provide clean water for drinking and bathing, food, emergency shelter, and essential household items to 471,000 worst-affected people in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities for three months. Debris clearing to reduce health risks and logistics services that ensure uninterrupted delivery of life-saving programmes are also a priority.
Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Dr. Soe Nyunt-U, who returned yesterday from a two-day visit to the two cities, was shocked by the scale of destruction that he saw firsthand. “It was as if the cities were hit by an inland tsunami,” he said. “Entire areas were completely flattened; only a few sturdy buildings remain standing, and these had sustained a lot of damage. Debris from houses, buildings and other structures that had been destroyed by the storm was all swept out to the sea, leaving huge areas devoid of all traces of habitation.”
To date, more than 1,060 people are dead or missing and 28,030 homes have been damaged or destroyed, according to the Government. More than 43,600 people are taking shelter in 51 evacuation centers and another 266,000 people are staying with relatives or in makeshift structures. These figures are expected to rise as more information becomes available. In Iligan city, where two thirds of the 44 barangays have been affected, a third of water sources are reported as damaged, and there is a city-wide lack of potable water.