Destruction in the island of Bohol after the passage of Typhoon Rai. | © Photo A.Dumduma / HI
Typhoon Rai caused significant material damages across the middle of the Philippines. An emergency team is in one of the hardest-hit areas to identify the needs.
Less than 48 hours after Typhoon Rai made landfall across the center of the Philippines, an HI emergency team reached the island of Bohol, one of the most affected by the storm’s devastating winds and floods. The team’s focus is on measuring the extent of damages, and identifying the most urgent needs among residents.
"When we arrived in Bohol, we could see that 90 to 95% of the houses had been submerged by the floods,” explains Alvin Dumduma, project manager for HI in Philippines. “Houses made of light materials, like wood and metal sheets, are totally destroyed or have been swept away.”
According to local authorities, several dozen people died following the passage of Typhoon Rai, with a majority in the province of Bohol. However, this toll is expected to rise, given the scale of the destruction and access difficulties, in particular due to damaged and cut-off roadways. In addition, communications were still very unstable as of Sunday evening local time.
"In the immediate future, the most urgent needs are access to drinking water, food, clothing and basic medicines,” Alvin notes.
Tourism is the main economic activity of this region, and was already deeply affected by the restrictions related to Covid-19. Because of the destruction caused by the consequences of the typhoon may further aggravate the situation, this activity should be very impacted in the coming months.
HI teams will continue their evaluations on Monday. They’ll determine how HI can best support the people made most vulnerable after the storm, including people with disabilities, and older residents.
In the last 20 years, natural disasters in the Philippines have claimed the lives of more than 31,000 people, and affected 98 million people. Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the country in November 2013, claimed 8,000 lives and impacted the lives of nearly 15 million people.