Water, food and shelter first priorities
Typhoon Phanfone struck Central Philippines on 24 December leaving thousands in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Many of the communities affected were still recovering from the impacts of a previous storm - Typhoon Kammuri - and are now in dire need of support.
Oxfam's Leah Payud, based in Leyte, where the typhoon made one of its landfalls, described the devastation experienced by her community. "Phanfone carved the same path as Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Although weaker, its devastating impacts are widely felt, especially here in Leyte, where houses have been damaged and electric posts toppled. We spent Christmas Day in total darkness."
Oxfam is working closely with humanitarian organisation People's Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN) to assess the damage from the storm. Teams immediately visited four towns in Leyte and Eastern Samar, where Oxfam has ongoing projects. Early assessments indicate coastal villages urgently need emergency shelter, bedding, potable water, and food. Power outages, loss of access to infrastructure such as schools and markets, and severe damage to houses along the shore have also been reported.
Esteban Masagca, PDRRN Executive Director, said: "Families are urgently requesting emergency shelter-grade materials because the storm completely destroyed their homes along the coast. Families need bedding and mosquito nets, especially as Dengue Fever continues to be a major threat. Potable water is urgently needed since water refilling stations cannot operate because of the ongoing power blackout. Water kits and disinfectants are crucial to prevent water-borne diseases since many sources of water have been contaminated."
Updated: 27 December 2019
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