Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020
The Philippines is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries when it comes to natural disasters – and right now the Southeast Asian nation is dealing with a significant crisis.
Typhoon Vamco is the third typhoon to strike the Philippines in the last month and its impact has been devastating. At least 67 people have been killed and many more missing.
The Philippines’ main island Luzon, which has a population of more than 48 million, has felt the brunt of the disaster.
Millions of homes have lost power (including about 1.9 million homes in metro Manila and surrounding provinces), electrical poles, trees and buildings have been toppled and Government buildings and schools have been forced to close their doors.
Photos and videos shared on social media show distressing scenes of people stranded on rooftops, including elderly people and young children, desperately seeking help.
According to the Philippines National Police, more than 100,000 people have been rescued with almost of half of them in the capital region.
It is estimated that more than a million people need urgent support and that more than 130,000 people have been displaced.
CBM is currently on the ground in the Philippines working with local partners to provide urgent life-saving essentials to people impacted by the disaster, including people with disabilities.
These essentials include shelter repair kits, food and hygiene, access to clean water and sanitation and access to other crucial services.
The ferocity of Typhoon Vamco has brought rain and winds of up to 169 km/hr and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration was forced to issue a Signal 3 warning for parts of the country.
Typhoon Vamco has struck at a time when the Philippines is still in the grasp of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than 400,000 confirmed cases, the Philippines has the second highest number of cases in Southeast Asia. Many evacuation centres set up in schools and gymnasiums are overcrowded and unable to cope with the influx of people impacted by Typhoon Vamco.
The Philippines is the world’s third most disaster-prone country, and is hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year. In addition, the Philippines also experiences earthquakes, landslides, fires and floods.
Typhoon Vamco has devastated the Philippines less than a month after Typhoon Goni, a category-five equivalent super typhoon which killed at least 25 people and caused over $34 Million AUD dollars of damage to roads, bridges, schools, buildings and agriculture.