Impact of Christmas Eve cyclone still felt in Philippines

Locals receive support after the cyclone (Caritas Philippines)

Local Caritas staff, partners and volunteers – part of the Caritas international network – continue to respond with emergency assistance following the devastating impact of Cyclone Tembin in the Philippines. Source: Caritas Australia.

Cyclone Tembin 17, known locally as Typhoon Vinta, made landfall in Caraga municipality, around 254km from Davao city, on December 24. It devastated communities in the southern Philippines, causing flash floods and landslides.

The Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has confirmed 197 people dead, with the number expected to rise, as rescue teams continue to search for over 200 missing people. It estimates that more than 100,000 people have been displaced and nearly 800,000 people affected in total.

Caritas Australia’s Senior Programs Coordinator for Emergencies, Richard Forsythe, said the quick response assisted those badly impacted by the Cyclone over the Christmas period.

"The efforts of Caritas Philippines and other partners in pre-positioning essential relief materials and evacuation centres have prevented the potential for further loss of life," Mr Forsythe said.

For Umpia M. Dura, a resident of Lanao del Sur in the southern Philippines, the presence of Caritas Philippines has been reassuring.

"I thank you for coming here to check on my rice mill, I thank you with infinite gratitude," Mr Dura said.

Caritas Australia is contributing $50,000 to the needs of those affected by the cyclone. Among these are many families who fled the armed conflict in Marawi City seven months earlier, only to have been displaced a second time by Cyclone Tembin.

The Caritas international network says food, water and clothing are still the priority needs. Food packages have already been provided to 2116 families as well as blankets, sleeping mats, cooking utensils, hot meals, hygiene kits and purified water. Caritas Philippines is coordinating and closely monitoring actions across various Philippines dioceses, through its emergency operations centre.

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Caritas Network's response to Cyclone Tembin continues (Caritas Australia)

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