Typhoon Bopha, known locally as Pablo, has hit the southern Philippines with more than five million people caught in its path. More than 360,000 are now staying in evacuation centers or with friends and relatives, according to the UN.
In the hardest hit areas in the Compostela Valley, entire villages were wiped out by a deadly slurry of mud, rocks and timber that cascaded down the slopes minutes after Bopha made landfall on 4 December.
The typhoon slammed into the eastern coast of Mindanao Island – some 900km south of the capital, Manila – triggering landslides in mountainous areas where decades of migration had seen entire communities settle in flood-prone zones. The storm’s gusts reached over 200km an hour at its peak, making it the strongest typhoon to hit the country in 2012.
What Oxfam is doing
Oxfam and our humanitarian partners in the Philippines, the Humanitarian Response Consortium, or HRC, have begun an emergency response targeting communities worst affected by the Typhoon. Key priorities include:
- Getting clean, safe drinking water to disaster-hit areas;
- Establishing basic sanitation facilities;
- Providing cash and starting cash-for-work projects to help families buy food, clothing and other shelter needs.
Water treatment supplies and hygiene kits are being sent to the worst-hit areas in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces, where around 505,000 people have been severely affected.
Our seven-month emergency response targets 12,000 families. It is the biggest rural response to a natural disaster that the agencies have ever mounted in the Philippines.
In the medium to longer term, we need to support families with livelihoods. Farming communities have been the worst hit and it could take many years for them to fully recover.
Please consider making a donation to the general emergency fund of your nearest national Oxfam affiliate. Your money will be used to fund our emergency work worldwide, which includes responding in countries such as the Philippines.