Manila, PHILIPPINES (August 8, 2012) — As torrential rains continue to batter Manila’s neighborhoods, World Vision emergency response teams headed into metro Manila to conduct a rapid assessment of the damage. The government estimates that more than 1.5 million people have been affected by the storm that swept through earlier this week, inundating Manila and the surrounding provinces in Luzon, the largest island in the Philippines.
“We are facing massive challenges as we face the task of helping those who have lost everything,” said Jay Mijares, an emergency communicator with World Vision in the Philippines. “I visited the flood zone area today in Manila and saw thousands of people, hungry and shivering, who are stranded in evacuation centers as they struggle to come to terms with what’s happened to them.”
The Philippine capital has been on “red alert” since Tuesday, after 12 days of heavy rains triggered by the arrival of Typhoon Haiku in eastern China caused major dams and rivers in and around the Philippine capital to overflow. About 400,000 people have been forced into evacuation centers in Manila and nearby provinces, and the death toll from the flooding exceeds sixty people.
Mijares added: “While we were on our way back, it was a challenge to find a street where we could pass through because of the floodwaters. We were lost in a maze and got stuck from time to time because most of the roads looked like deep seas."
World Vision has dispatched assessment teams in 11 districts in the flooded areas to determine what local residents need and to work with local authorities and other humanitarian agencies to help provide supplies. On Thursday, World Vision teams will distribute ready-to-eat food kits to approximately 1,000 families in Manila and in the city of Malabon, located just north of the Philippine capital. Additional emergency relief supplies will be distributed throughout the city in the coming days.
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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