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Philippines disasters

Philippines Typhoons and earthquake 2013

Typhoons and storms have caused severe flooding across Luzon Island since August. Red Cross assisted thousands of people in suburbs of Manila, and surrounding provinces on the island of Luzon, after flooding affected more than 2.9 million people and forced about 800,000 from their homes. More than 20 deaths were reported.

Typhoon Nari was the latest to hit, striking 11 October and causing 15 deaths. Four days later, more than 200 people died when an earthquake struck the central Philippine island of Bohol. Hundreds more were injured and more than 54,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed.

Since the onset of the floods, hundreds of Philippine Red Cross staff and volunteers have been supporting search and rescue efforts and distributing relief supplies. Hundreds of thousands of people have sought refugee in evacuation centres. Red Cross has been assisting those affected with relief supplies, including food, water and first aid. Children are also being provided with personal support and hygiene education, so that families learn the importance of washing hands to prevent disease. Assistance is being provided to help families rebuild their damaged homes and livelihoods.

Basilisa Mahumot, who was born and raised in Bohol is 67-years-old. Basilisa took her grandchildren and rushed outside their house as soon as she felt the strong tremors.

"In just a snap, everything collapsed and people were panicking. No one knew what to do," she says, teary-eyed. "I am thankful that I was with my grandchildren when it happened, if not, they would now be trapped in the rubble like so many others," she says.

Basilisa's village in Loon town is one of the hardest hit areas in the province of Bohol, which is located in Central Visayas. The earthquake has damaged the island's tourism industry, which normally attracts people to see its centuries-old churches and scenic spots. Many buildings are now damaged or in ruins.

Several aftershocks have created fear among the residents, adding to the trauma they have already endured. The normally vibrant and lively island, usually packed with tourists, now seems like a ghost town with abandoned houses, closed businesses and non-functioning markets.

Australian Red Cross is on standby to support Philippine Red Cross.

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 in Australia and around the world.

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

Visit Philippine Red Cross for more information.

Photo: IFRC.