Responding to Typhoon Megi

WASHINGTON – Present in the Philippines since 2003, Handicap International plans to supply immediate aid to the victims of typhoon Megi, which made landfall in the Philippines on October 18 at 11:25 am (local time).

The association has released $28,028/€20,000 in funds to meet basic emergency needs. According to the National Risk Reduction and Disaster Management Center,  1.1 million people have been affected by the typhoon.

To ensure a rapid response to the crisis in the Philippines, Handicap International has immediately released an initial sum of $28,028/€20,000 and dispatched its first emergency team to the affected regions of Isabela province on Friday to perform a detailed needs evaluation. A second support team arrived on Sunday to extend the evaluation and organize the distribution of basic emergency equipment.

“The emergency response consists [of] providing shelters to displaced persons and the many families living on the streets whose homes were destroyed by the force of the hurricane,” explains Jean-Pierre Delomier, emergency response director at Handicap International.

The $28,028/€20,000 in funds released by the association will be used to purchase emergency non-food packs containing mats, floor carpets and blankets for distribution in Isabela province over the next few days. The association will also distribute equipment already available in the Philippines, including wheelchairs, crutches and walking sticks, to accommodation centers. This equipment is essential to ensure people with disabilities, the elderly and other vulnerable persons are able to access emergency humanitarian aid.

A category 5 typhoon, Megi is the most devastating typhoon to hit the Philippines in four years. It has caused major damage and landslides in the mountainous region of Sierra Madre (Isabela province).

Magi has left 27 people dead, 30 injured and it has affected more than 211,000 families, 5,500 of whom have been left homeless. There are 23,000 people currently living in 170 accommodation centers. Our team reported that many families have no other choice than to sleep on rubble in the streets.

The material damage is considerable with 22,000 homes damaged and 14,000 destroyed. Rail, electricity and road networks have been disrupted by landslides, mudslides and fallen tree.

Handicap International has been involved in emergency and development projects in the Philippines since 2003. The association has supplied aid to victims of several natural disasters, including typhoons Ketsana, Parma and Santi in the province of Rizal in 2009.