- Manila’s “worst disaster in decades” affected over 450,000 people
- World Vision relief teams to help close to 100,000 survivors
- Aid agency dispatches relief by helicopter to hard-to-reach areas
Manila, September 28, 2009—International relief agency, World Vision, is appealing for $2 million USD to help the survivors of Typhoon Ketsana. The storm, which packed maximum wind speeds of nearly 110 kph, brought one month’s rain to the capital city of Manila and neighboring provinces in less than seven hours and killed at least 140 people. It is the worst disaster to hit the city in decades.
“The impact of this typhoon on Manila has been shocking. Many have lost everything, including bedding, food, education materials and clothing,” said World Vision’s national director in the Philippines, Elnora Avarientos. “The poorest living in slums and settlements are especially badly hit.”
World Vision is working with the Philippine Coast Guard to distribute aid as quickly as possible, dispatching relief by helicopter to some of the hard-to-reach areas. The agency’s emergency response teams hope to reach nearly 100,000 people with food and other relief items in some of the hardest-hit areas of Manila, including Marikina, Cainta, Rizal, and Pasig. Thousands of homes in these areas are damaged or destroyed, and many families lost everything when the flood waters swept through their homes. In addition, the aid agency is organizing food- and cash-for-work programs to help communities recover and clean up their streets, community buildings and schools. World Vision will also set up Child-Friendly Spaces for the children.
“Houses were flooded in just a few minutes, so people were not able to bring their belongings or food into evacuation centers,” said World Vision’s emergency affairs director, Boy Bersales. “Others waited on their rooftops to be rescued.”
Most of the city is covered in mud. Those who managed to flee on foot were left grappling with surging water, floating debris and water up to their necks. A number of dead bodies, most of which were children and elderly, were seen floating in the water in areas still flooded, while some bodies were found along the streets in areas where water has subsided.
World Vision’s own staff has also been impacted by the floods. Many found their homes suddenly flooded and others fled to the World Vision office where their families stayed overnight. 25 employees have also received emergency aid through the organization.
World Vision is working closely with other INGOs, the National Disaster Coordinating Council and rescue teams and local companies who are providing food for distribution.
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world’s poor - regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press