|Manila, PHILIPPINES (December 7, 2012) — As the death tolls continues to climb from Typhoon Bopha, World Vision is working to assist at least 8,000 families in the typhoon-stricken areas of Compostela Valley and Agusan del sur.|
The humanitarian agency's Mindanao Response Manager Beth Delgado said, "World Vision will initially be providing much needed food and non-food items like blankets and mosquito nets to thousands of families in Compostela Valley, the hardest hit area in the wake of Typhoon Bopha. We’ll be handing out emergency food rations for families that include rice, water, canned goods, sugar, biscuits, cooking oil and dried fish."
Typhoon Bopha left a trail of destruction in Northern Mindanao including Compostela Valley, one of the hardest-hit areas. Hundreds of bodies of people, some children, were unearthed from the rubble and lined-up on the streets, covered by banana leaves from fallen trees that were also wiped out by the fierce winds and flashfloods. Power cut-off is slowing down government search and rescue efforts for those that have been buried in mudslides in New Bataan, Compostela Valley. Casualties continue to rise with more than 400 dead and more than 300 missing.
"I see a lot of destruction and pain in my surroundings. Few structures left in the town. Thousands of people remained in temporary shelters. It’s totally heartbreaking to see people all around who are still looking for their missing loved ones. I couldn't stop my tears," said Crislyn Felisilda, World Vision emergency communications officer.
"In a thousand hectares of banana plantations in Compostela Valley, I cannot see even just one tree standing,” said Arlo Ramos, a member of the World Vision disaster assessment team. “Compostela Valley, once considered as a rich agriculture rich land, is now seriously devastated, registering millions of agricultural losses.”
Compostela Valley is a major producer of export quality bananas and other fruits in the Philippines. The devastated banana plantations in the province are a great loss to small farmers in the area who only rely on growing bananas to feed their family and support basic needs.
World Vision response teams continue to work on the ground to carry out the first relief distribution as soon as possible, despite being hampered by massive road blocks including fallen posts and bridges.
“Everywhere there’s lots of mud, and most of the water has receded by the time we got there. Roofs from homes and other things were everywhere as a result of the typhoon. The roads are quite difficult to pass because of the mud, debris and trees from the landslide,” Ramos said.
World Vision is also looking into providing temporary shelters and housing repairs for 2,500 families and livelihood support to 1,500 families during the Typhoon Bopha Emergency Response. This is in support of government appeals for aid to international humanitarian organizations. Following the increasing death toll and pressing needs of typhoon-hit families, Philippine President Pnoy Aquino, who personally visited the areas today, would soon declare North Mindanao under a State of National Calamity as advised by the government’s disaster agency.
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About World Vision:World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor — regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews