21.10.2009 - Article
Swiss relief efforts for typhoon victims in the Philippines
Emergency shelters for affected families
At the end of September and the beginning of October 2009, the typhoons Ketsana and Parma caused the worst flooding seen in the Philippines for over 40 years. Heavy rainfall triggered mudslides destroying entire villages and washing away roads. 850 people lost their lives, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. Switzerland is assisting those affected with targeted measures. A new typhoon is again threatening the region.
On 19 October, a local team of 25 people led by an expert from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit SHA began work on 300 emergency shelters. Vast areas of the province of Laguna south of the capital Manlia have been flooded. The typhoons Ketsana and Parma have damaged or destroyed infrastructure and crops valued at USD 580 million. Affected families are currently still living in often cramped evacuation centres.
Contracts have been signed with local representatives and private individuals on the use of suitable sites for accommodation and the free provision of future inhabitants with drinking water and electricity. The first one hundred housing units should be released to the most needy families by the end of October. CHF 300,000 has been set aside for these measures from the SDC’s humanitarian aid.
The search for further suitable sites continues. In addition, clarifications are also ongoing as to how best to help flood victims who are unlikely to be allowed to rebuild their houses on their former sites as these are in hazard zones.
The province devastated by typhoon Ketsana on 26 September is on the main island of Luzon in the north of the Philippines. Typhoon Parma devastated the most northerly tip of Luzon on 3 October – the region is now threatened by typhoon Lupit (typhoon means ‘fierce’ in Filipino). Agency reports state that thousands of people have already been evacuated from the area.
Additional Information and Documents
- Nothilfe für die Philippinen, Luzon
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