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Typhoon Bopha moves west of the Philippines - impact less severe than expected

Posted by Oxfam

5th Dec 2012

Despite being tagged as a super typhoon, the damages and destruction caused by typhoon Bopha was not as severe compared to last year's tropical storm Washi which affected similar areas, said international humanitarian agency Oxfam.

According to Paul Del Rosario, Oxfam Philippines Humanitarian Coordinator, "the pre-emptive evacuation and other preparatory measures taken by local government units, plus the cooperation of affected residents indeed saved lives".  However he added that "we still need to wait for the results from our assessment teams who are on the ground now to see what urgent needs Oxfam should respond to". Oxfam's rapid assessment teams, supported by its local partners, are currently in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur and Palawan. 

Typhoon Bopha has further weakened as it continues to move towards Northern Palawan before finally existing out of the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday, December 6, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Agency (PAGASA).

The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) counts the number of casualties to 82 people killed and 24 missing. In Cagayan de Oro City, an area which was badly hit by Typhoon Washi on December of last year, there were no recorded casualties news reports say underscoring the preparedness of the community and the local government unit in facing a disaster. 

 A total of 24,380 families or 120,627 individuals were affected in Regions VIII (Eastern Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao Region) and XIII (Caraga),of which 21,560 families or 106,730 individuals are currently displaced and are being served inside and outside evacuation centres. 

Oxfam is currently the convenor of the Philippine INGO Network (PINGON), a network of international and national humanitarian groups, and is working with the group to harmonize preparedness measures.  Oxfam is also closely coordinating with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defence (OCD). 

For more information Contact: Jed Alegado, Oxfam's Media & Communications Officer in the Philippines +63 928-5042911; +62 922-5409474  or Ian Bray 01865 472498

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