Ondoy’s victims reach 4 million; assistance badly needed

MANILA, Philippines —The Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) reported on Wednesday, that victims of typhoon Ondoy have already reached four million or 829,498 families.

CDRC also reported that the estimated cost of damage to infrastructure and agriculture has also increased to P9.7 billion (US$208.760 million based on the October 8 exchange rate of $1:P46.46).

Ondoy had wreaked havoc in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon after it made landfall near the Aurora-Quezon boundary on September 26. Massive floods have affected Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Rizal.

Based on reports, Ondoy left 339 casualties: 298 were killed, 5 injured and 39 missing.

“In Metro Manila alone, over 100,000 people from over 900 barangays (villages) 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,” said the CDRC in a statement.

In Central Luzon, 113 baranggays in Marilao, Meycuayan, San Miguel and Bocaue Sta Maria, Calumpit, Bustos and Norzagaray, all in the province of Bulacan, were heavily flooded.

While in Pampanga, 64 barangays in San Simon, Guagua, Masantol, Apalit, Lubao, Porac, Sto Tomas and San Fernando were also flooded.

Moreover, several barangays in Rizal 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,” says the CDRC.

Aside from flooding, 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.

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, construction materials (plywood, corrugated metal roof, etc), CDRC said. (CBCPNews.com)