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2011 tropical storm 'Washi', Philippines

Philippines: 640,000 people affected by tropical storm

Hundreds of homeless people gathered in an evacuation centre

December 2011. CBM deploys an assessment mission in the island of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, where storm Washi has affected close to 640,000 people and caused a thousand deaths.

‘A terrible tragedy’

A family sleeping on the floor in an evacuation centre ©Reuters/Erik de Castro, courtesy Trust.org – AlertNet
Storm victims rest at an evacuation centre in Cagayan de Oro
One of the most affected areas is Cagayan de Oro City, where 175,000 people have been displaced due to terrible floods and landslides that washed houses away. More than a month’s worth of rain fell in less than 12 hours. Only 26,000 of the displaced could find shelter in crammed evacuation centres.
CBM’s local partner organisation has been to the various evacuation centres and affected neighbourhoods. They reported that hundreds of bodies have been retrieved from rivers and that many people with disabilities were swept away.

Huge emergency needs

In an evacuation centre a group of homeless peh a person in a wheelchairople among whic ©CBM
Living conditions are especially difficult for persons with disabilities in the context of a disaster
On Tuesday 20 December Philippines' president Benigno Aquino visited affected communities in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City. He declared a national disaster.
At the moment the population of Cagayan de Oro is in dire need of drinking water, food and basic items such as clothes, blankets or tarpaulins. Hygiene and sanitation are issues of much concern as well.
CBM’s evaluation mission is also going to assess the specific needs of persons with disabilities and other vulnerable groups, who are especially at risk under such terrible circumstances. It is therefore very important that specific medications for conditions such as epilepsy or hypertension are available or that mobility aids and other assistive devices (canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, hearing aids, glasses, etc.) are distributed.

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Related articles

Philippines: CBM’s response to tropical storm Washi

CBM’s priorities in Northern Mindanao: identifying persons with disabilities, responding to their specific needs and coordinating with other stakeholders


Philippines: chaos and horror after the storm

A CBM local partner reports on the hours after the storm hit


Humanitarian Action

CBM working with local partners to ensure that people with disabilities are included at all levels of disaster preparedness and response



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