Flood affected communities in the Philippines still very vulnerable 

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MSF concerned for the welfare of the 3.9 million people affected

A second typhoon forecast for the weekend hit the northern part of the Philippines on Saturday October 3rd, causing extensive damage and killing 15 people.  One hundred and seventy thousand people had been evacuated in anticipation of typhoon Parma.
Today an MSF team is going to Tuguegarao, a city in the north of the country, to carry out an evaluation of the needs of the people living there.

The rains accompanying Parma were less than expected, much to the relief of the inhabitants of Manila, many of whom saw their homes go under water following flooding caused by typhoon Kestsana, that hit the Philippines a week ago Saturday.
Ketsana, according to official figures, killed 300 people and displaced 320 000 in Manila and surrounding areas, in total a population of 3.9 million have been affected.

"Heavy rains would have exacerbated an already very difficult situation,” says Oifa Bouriachi MSF’s emergency coordinator. “Manila and regions close by were devastated by last week’s tropical storm. Tens of thousands of families are still living in evacuation centres and our teams are continuing to assess the needs and provide help where necessary.”

MSF has sent an emergency team of 20 to provide assistance. Two mobile clinics are providing medical consultations in some of the 505 evacuation centres in Manila and surrounding areas.  Seventy consultations are being offered per day by each mobile clinic and support includes a mental health component for people experiencing post traumatic stress conditions. MSF is also distributing non food items to people staying in the evacuation centres including hygiene kits for 6,500 people. A mobile clinic and non-food item distribution (soap, bowls and plastic sheeting) will begin in Laguna Bay, south east of Manila tomorrow. It is an area that is still totally under water and around 100,000 people are living in evacuation centres.

Continuous assessments of the situation are being carried out by MSF teams in and around Manila, including by helicopter. The response by Philippine authorities has been prompt and effective, but despite this, some areas have still not received any assistance.  The vastness and topography of the region makes it difficult to access populations that may be in urgent need of assistance.

Meanwhile the population remains anxious.

 “It is the monsoon time in the Philippines and it is feared that more heavy rain may fall in the coming days. The weather forecasts are not looking good. More flooding would be catastrophic for a population that is already in a very vulnerable situation, with large areas still under water. Everyone remains vigilant, “explains Oifa Bouriachi.


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