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World Vision flies relief team into Philippines

World Vision flies relief team into Catanduanes (Philippines)


World Vision Philippines has dispatched a relief assessment team aboard a military Hercules C-130 into a province hit by 265km per hour winds and where villages were thumped by super-typhoon Durian.

Three assessment team members flew in to the island province of Catanduanes following a special appeal to World Vision from the province's governor. No video or media report has come out from Catanduanes to date, despite it being hit by the typhoon's most powerful gusts.

It is thought that damage could be more severe in Catanduanes than elsewhere, even though hundreds of people outside this province are already thought to have been killed. No WV Area Development Programme is located in Catanduanes.

The super-typhoon is so far reported to have possibly killed more than 300 people, affected some 22,000 people across North and Central Philippines and left 11,000 homeless.

Two other WV Philippines assessment teams totalling ten staff are going to head in by road to Legaspi City, Albay province, where a number of villages are thought to have been buried in mud. Both provinces are in the central Bicol region through which the typhoon swept, after crossing the Philippines from Thursday.

The challenge for WV Philippines is where to focus its relief efforts and how to gain access.

On the basis of the teams' assessments the office will then declare, in consultation with the regional relief manager, a category of disaster, direct further assessments, and decide how much to appeal for. Clothing aid is already being prepared.

One of the worst affected areas is the foothills of the rumbling Mayon volcano in Albay Province southeast of Manila, where several villages have been hit by mudslides.

Albay is normally about 12 hours – or some 350km - by road from Manila. Telephone communications have been severely disrupted, bridges and sections or road are reported destroyed.

The relief effort is being led by HEA director Boy Bersales, joined by Communications manager Dominique Tabora.

Elsewhere, families were evacuated from ADPs in the Luzon region, although there were no reported casualties.

In the Calabarzon region, more than1,800 families were evacuated from landslide- and flood-prone areas as the typhoon battered the Southern Tagalog area. More than 8,700 people were brought into 74 evacuation centres in the region's five provinces. Some 128 villages were affected by the typhoon with substantial damage reported.

ENDS

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