Almost 4 million people affected and more than 150 dead after Tropical Storm Nalgae in the Philippines
At least 150 people have lost their lives and 36 are missing after Tropical Storm Nalgae (local name Paeng) hit the Philippines on 28 to 31 October. The storm has caused severe flooding and landslides and, in some cases, has destroyed entire villages.
According to the National Council for Disaster Risk Management and Reduction, 3,963,555 people are affected and there are 1,212,302 displaced persons, of which 213,726 are hosted in evacuation centres. 15,162 houses have been damaged, of which 2,194 have been totally destroyed.
Nalgae left the Philippines area by 31 October after traversing 17 regions and 74 provinces. Some of the most affected regions are Calabarzon, Bicol, Visayas and Bangsamoro. According to Bangsamoro Minister of Interior and Local Government, Naguib Sinarimbo, an entire community of indigenous people was razed on Mount Minandar.
Action Against Hunger, a humanitarian organization working in the Philippines since 2000, has activated the rapid response mechanism as part of one of its EU-funded projects to respond to the needs of affected communities.
Action Against Hunger staff in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and Cotabato are monitoring the situation in coordination with humanitarian working groups that include local and international organizations and authorities. Reports from the ground confirm that in Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, residents are experiencing knee-deep flooding along a road can no longer be accessed. There is no water or electricity available in Barangay Kurintem.
© Action Against Hunger
Evacuated families are reporting their need for access to clean water and hygiene kits. With several sources of drinking water damaged and contaminated, we are planning water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions.
Action Against Hunger in the Philippines has also noted poor sanitation, especially for displaced people, who do not have inclusive toilets and especially put women and girls at high risk of gender-based violence. We are providing 240 hygiene kits as an immediate response and to complement the work of the government and local partners.
In terms of food security and livelihoods, most sources of income for affected people have been particularly damaged. Although displaced people hosted in centres are receiving ready-to-eat food parcels and meals, Action Against Hunger warns that supplies are limited. In terms of health, fever cases are being reported among children in evacuation centres with limited access to medicines.
The Philippines: recurrent emergencies and climate change
Just four months ago, the Philippines was again hit by extreme weather events. In this case, an earthquake of magnitude 7 on the Richter scale, to which Action Against Hunger responded by sending an emergency team. Two months ago, Noru, a typhoon that left more than 150,000 people affected.
Noru was the eleventh typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, a country that experiences an average of 20 storms per year. The country ranks second among the 135 countries in the world most affected by the impacts of climate change, according to the Global Climate Risk Index (IRC) 2020.
While Tropical Storm Nalgae swept away homes and roads and destroyed infrastructure that ensures access to basic services such as water, the Philippines also experienced a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.4 in Abra that affected more than 160,000 people.
A century-old church in La Paz, Abra, which was damaged by the October 25 earthquake. © Julius Oliveros for Action Against Hunger
Temporary tents were set up for displaced families in Lagayan, Abra. Photo courtesy of Lagayan Municipal Government
Action Against Hunger is also responding to this emergency that has already left damage costs of more than one and a half million euros, of which 460,000 are for damage to houses and almost 90,000 in infrastructure of water supply systems.