The Philippine government is reporting catastrophic damage as more complete numbers of Typhoon Bopha damage in the Philippines become clear. More than 1,000 people were killed when the storm struck the island of Mindanao a few weeks before Christmas. More than 800 are still missing and hundreds of thousands are now homeless. The powerful typhoon caused flooding and mudslides that destroyed miles of infrastructure, knocked out electricity and destroyed more than 150,000 homes.
CRS staff reached affected areas the day after the storm hit and immediately began organizing a response for devastated communities. With a focus on meeting the most urgent needs for the most vulnerable communities, CRS is providing clean water, shelter, hygiene kits, and mud and debris removal.
“This is the most severe emergency to hit the Philippines in decades, and 90% of houses in coastal areas were wiped out by strong winds,” said Country Representative Joseph Curry.
“Not only are homes destroyed, but the poorest farmers and farm workers took a huge hit with the destruction of banana and coconut crops.”
CRS is trucking water for nearly 10,000 people and treating water for another 8,000. CRS is distributing 9,5000 emergency shelter kits. CRS also hired storm victims to provide critical cleanup services to reopen a mud-filled elementary school, allowing classes to reopen on January 7, 2013.
In coming months, CRS will continue to assist families in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental with shelter, water, and livelihood recovery with generous funding from USAID, the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, UNICEF, Caritas Australia, Cordaid, and Latter-day Saints Charities.