December 11, 2012
On Tuesday December 4, 2012 Typhoon Bopha devastated parts of the southern Philippines. The death toll is now at 700 and continues to rise. Several hundred people are still reported missing. The island of Mindanao was hit particularly hard by the typhoon, which caused mudslides, flooding, and widespread destruction. As a result, 5 million people have been affected and over 350,000 people have been displaced.
The government has declared a state of calamity as bridges and roads have been wiped out and many regions are without power. In Cateel, Davao Oriental province, one of the hardest hit areas, nearly all of the homes and infrastructure have been destroyed. As a result of the widespread damage and lack of electricity, relief efforts have been greatly hindered. Many of the shelters that were set up in anticipation of the storm were destroyed, forcing affected people to return to their homes, which in some cases were entirely demolished by the typhoon. Most of the affected areas were still recovering from Typhoon Washi which struck the island of Mindanao in late 2011 killing 1,500 people and causing wide scale damage.
The most immediate emergency needs are food, shelter, medicine, and most pressingly, water. Many of the water systems in the affected areas have been destroyed and access to clean drinking water is extremely limited.
GlobalMedic’s Philippine team is in the affected areas deploying a water unit already in country. This unit is capable of purifying 64 litres of clean drinking water per minute. This unit will provide point of access distribution to clean drinking water for beneficiaries in the immediate areas where it is set up. In a situation where most of the affected area’s infrastructure was destroyed, access to clean drinking water is lifesaving.