World Vision teams in the Philippines are helping determine the extent of the damage caused by Typhoon Bopha’s furious winds, flashfloods and landslides.
Crislyn Felisilda, who works for World Vision in Cagayan de Oro City, said people have been preparing for the night ahead: “Residents trooped to the stores and waited in long lines to stock-up on supplies. People will be having a hard time sleeping tonight, anticipating a massive flashflood brought by the rising river waters from the nearby Bukidnon province.”
More than 50,000 people have taken refuge in evacuation centres in typhoon-hit areas, as strong winds and heavy rains hammered through the provinces of southern Philippines early Tuesday morning.
Precious Pedrosa from Mindanao said: “So many lost their houses, regardless if they were made of concrete or wood. Even the houses along the highway were damaged. It is heart-breaking to see so many people crying."
National roads and bridges have been flooded, with many impassable. Typhoon-stricken areas immediately faced power and communication cut-offs, which further isolated villages in far-flung areas.
Herbert Yepis, who works for World Vision in Mindanao, said: “I feel like there’s been an earthquake, because the winds and rain are so strong. Our neighbours’ houses were totally damaged. The roof of my house was blown away.”
Typhoon Bopha has now weakened, but public storm warnings remain in 35 areas.
Reported casualties have now reached seven deaths and 24 missing according to disaster authorities.
World Vision Philippines Executive Director Elnora Avarientos said: "We remain hopeful that the casualties will remain low, because of the tremendous efforts by government and community stakeholders in advancing Child-focused Disaster Risk Reduction practices that significantly reduce deaths and other risks."
World Vision rapid assessment teams have been deployed to determine the immediate needs of the families most severely affected.
4 December 2012