Humanitarian Disaster in the Philippines. In the Cruel Aftermath of Tropical Storm Ketsana

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I arrived in Manila barely a week after the disaster struck, affecting the lives of more nearly 4 million people, devastating more than 700,000 households, creating a public health disaster, destroying the lives of population groups, which were already living well below the poverty line.

During my visit to Manila, I was hosted by the Ibon foundation and the CDRC, one of the main NGOs involved in relief efforts, in close liason with people’s organizations in the affected areas.  

Under the auspices of CDRC and other NGOs involved in relief work, I visited Marinika, one of the main disaster areas in Metro Manila, where an entire urban area was devastated by the floods, with water levels reaching the second floor of people’s homes. There was no government presence, no medical or public health officials on location, no electricity, no drinking water. Toxic waste, garbage, piles of mud have accumulated.  

The WHO is present in providing medicine first aid kitsinncluding 10,000 water containers. What we are dealing with is one of south east Asia’s a largest natural disasters. 

The international media has casually focussed on the climatic event without providing indepth coverage of an impending humanitarian crisis.  

In a follow-up report, I hope to provide more information on the disaster. Below is the initial report of the CRDC which hosted me during my stay in Manila.

Global Research has contributed to the appeal for financial support.

We invite our readers to support the CRDC in its endeavors. We hope that in the next week or so we will be able to have an online donation form, wehich will be sent out to our readers and members.  

Michel Chossudovsky, Manila, October 7, 2009

CITIZENS’ DISASTER RESPONSE CENTER

72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City, Philippines

Fax: (632) 929-9822

Tel. No. (632) 929-9820

E-mail: [email protected]

Website: www.cdrc-phil.org

Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana), which caused the Philippines’ worst flooding in four decades, left Php8.3 Billion worth of damages to infrastructure (P2.7B) and agriculture (P5.5B), the National Disaster Coordinating Council said.

Ondoy battered Metro Manila and parts of Luzon after it made landfall near the boundary of Aurora and Quezon last September 26. Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Rizal were the most affected by the massive floods.

Ondoy also left 797,404 families of 3.8 million people affected. The total number of casualties has already reached 335. Of this number, 288 were killed, 5 injured and 42 missing.

                                                                       

In Metro Manila alone, over 100,000 people from over 900 barangays were evacuated after incessant rains caused heavy flooding in Manila, Marikina, Malabon, Muntinlupa, Makati, Pasay, Pasig, Valenzuela, San Juan and Quezon City. Flood water in some areas have already reached the second and third floors of buildings, forcing residents to seek refuge on the roof of their houses. Other areas such as Pasig and Cainta remain flooded up to this day.

In Bulacan, 113 baranggays in Marilao, Meycuayan, San Miguel and Bocaue Sta Maria, Calumpit, Bustos and Norzagaray were heavily flooded. In Pampanga, 64 barangays in San Simon, Guagua, Masantol, Apalit, Lubao, Porac, Sto Tomas and San Fernando were flooded as well.

In Rizal, several barangays were flooded and 5,000 families were affected by rising floodwater. Many villages were not accessible to the rescue teams, leaving several families trapped on rooftops for hours.            

Landslides occurred in Mt Province-Cagayan via Tabuk in CAR; Brgy. San Juan-Banyo, Arayat, Pampanga in Region III; Brgy. Bongalon, Sangay, Camarines Sur in Region V; Tagaytay-Taal Road, and Tagaytay-Talisay Road in Cavite; and Antipolo-Teresa Road and Sumulong Highway in Rizal.                           

 

Appeal for assistance

Right after the typhoon, CDRC and its Regional Centers immediately conducted a Damages, Needs and Capacities Assessment (DNCA) in the affected areas.

Of the total number of affected families, the most vulnerable were carefully identified, taking into account the gravity of destruction, their economic capacity to cope, their accessibility to relief services conducted by other agencies, and their willingness to help themselves.

On the basis of these criteria, 100,000 families have been identified as the most vulnerable families from among the total affected. They were among the worst affected by the typhoon and floods. Their houses were destroyed, and many of these areas are still difficult to access and therefore receive very little assistance if any. Immediate needs are food supply augmentation and other essential non-food items.

           

Needs include:

  • food provisions
  • water supply
  • medicines (for common colds and diarrhea)
  • clothes
  • bedding (mats, blankets, mosquito nets)
  • plastic sheet
  • kitchen utensils
  • sanitary napkins
  • construction materials (plywood, corrugated metal roof, etc)

Donations for the evacuees may be sent through the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center at 72-A Times St., West Triangle Homes, Quezon City. Concerned individuals and donors can easily reach us at (632) 929-9822 / (632) 929-9820. Donations may also be sent through the following bank accounts:

Dollar Account

Account Name:  Citizens’ Disaster Response Center
Account Number:  2-63600158-3

Bank:  Metrobank, Examiner Branch

Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines

Swift Code: MBTCPHMM

Peso Account

Account Name:  Citizens’ Disaster Response Center
Account Number:  3-63600741-3

Bank:  Metrobank, Examiner Branch

Bank Address: Corner Examiner and Quezon Avenue, West Triangle, Quezon City, Philippines

References:

NDCC
PAGASA
Reports from:

Community Response for Enlightenment, Service and Transformation (CREST)

Alay Bayan Incorporated (ABI)

Southern Tagalog People’s Response Center (STPRC)

About the author:

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages. He can be reached at [email protected] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Michel Chossudovsky est directeur du Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation et professeur émérite de sciences économiques à l’Université d’Ottawa. Il est l’auteur de "Guerre et mondialisation, La vérité derrière le 11 septembre", "La Mondialisation de la pauvreté et nouvel ordre mondial" (best-seller international publié en plus de 10 langues). Contact : [email protected]

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