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Philippines and Palau - Typhoon Bopha 2012


More than 6.2 million people were affected when the devastating Typhoon Bopha struck. The rains have stopped and flood waters subsided, tragically leaving more than 1,800 people dead or missing.

The Philippines Government declared 50 provinces, cities and municipalities in a state of calamity. In the areas hardest hit, almost 95 per cent of the roads, houses and crops have been destroyed.

The typhoon's centre struck the island of Mindanao, with wind gusts of up to 210 kilometres per hour.

Over 25,900 people remain in 63 evacuation centres while almost 960,000 people are outside of the centres but in need of shelter support (living in the ruins of their homes, open areas or with host communities). Some 65,500 houses have been completely destroyed while almost 102,000 houses have been partially damaged. An estimated one million people have food needs.

The government continues to remove debris from major roads and water and sanitation is a serious issue due to unclean water and lack of enough sanitation facilities

Red Cross response

Philippine Red Cross has been active in all areas of the emergency response including; evacuation centre support, search and rescue, assessments, distribution of relief goods; response first aid and provision of clean water.

More than 280,000 people have received food, household items and tarpaulins from Red Cross. Thousands of people are accessing safe water with two water filtration facilities in Baganga and bladders in Cateel. Red Cross is also running a medical first aid tent and a medical facility where small operations can take place. Both facilities have 50 beds each, basic medical equipment as well as doctors and nurses.

Philippine Red Cross has also sent medicines, ambulances and generators to Cateel and Baganga.

Philippine Red Cross is also assisting with the ongoing assessments of the damage, devastation and need across the affected communities in coordination with the Philippine Government and other agencies.

Australian Red Cross is assisting. Aid workers are responding assisting with shelter, health and logistics.

Australian aid worker, Catherine Gearing, one of a number of Australian disaster management aid workers helping coordinate the Red Cross response from Manila, said that in addition to the tragic loss of life, thousands of people have been left homeless or with no means to meet their basic needs after their houses and livelihoods were washed away.

"The clean-up and recovery from this disaster will be a major challenge. In the affected areas of Mindanao the typhoon has had a massive impact on agricultural production, decimating the plantations in the area that local people rely on. These crop losses will have a serious impact on the ability of survivors to recover and provide for their families in the months ahead," said Ms Gearing.

Australian Red Cross has a longstanding program with Philippine Red Cross, working with communities to better prepare for disasters as well as improving community health practices and supporting better access to safe water and sanitation.

Red Cross supports communities, particularly those most in need, to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery supports the work that Red Cross
Emergency Services do every day in Australia and wherever we are needed around the world.

You can help

Making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery supports the work that Red Cross Emergency Services do every day in Australia and wherever we are needed around the world.

For more information on how you can support the Philippine Red Cross directly, please go to

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Photos: Having lost her house during Typhoon Bopha, Lydia Inungam, 38, lives at Red Cross Tent City 3 in Mindanao, home to 90 families; Philippine Red Cross is helping communities who were evacuated after Typhoon Bopha improve their living conditions; Philippine Red Cross volunteers distribute food and relief items to families in Compostela Town Municipal centre, Mindanao (Patrick Fuller/IFRC).