Media and Communications Office
In the Phillipines, local Caritas staff, partners and volunteers, part of the Caritas international network, are already responding with emergency assistance and support to those on the ground, following the devastating impact of cyclone Tembin.
Cyclone Tembin made landfall in Caraga municipality, around 254 kilometres from Davao city, on Christmas eve. It has devastated communities in the southern Philippines, with early reports of at least 180 people dead. Caritas Australia is contributing $50,000AUD to the needs of affected peoples.
Caritas Australia’s Senior Programs Coordinator for Emergencies, Richard Forsythe, said the quick response has assisted many who were badly impacted by the Cyclone over the Christmas period.
'The efforts of Caritas Philippines and other partners in pre-positioning essential relief materials and evacuation centres have prevented the potential for further loss of life,' Mr Forsythe said.
The cyclone caused flooding and landslides which resulted in deaths, as well as damage to homes and livelihoods. Cyclone Tembin follows the damage done by Tropical Depression Kai-Tak, which made landfall over central Philippines earlier in the month.
For Umpia M. Dura, a resident of Lanao del Sur in the Southern Philippines, the presence of Caritas Philippines has been reassuring.
'I thank you for coming here to check on my rice mill, I thank you with infinite gratitude,' Mr Dura said.
The Caritas international network says food, water and clothing are still the priority needs for those affected by the cyclone. According to the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 280, 000 families were affected by the disaster. Caritas Philippines is coordinating and closely monitoring actions across various Philippines dioceses, through its Emergency Operations Centre.
Food packages have already been provided to 500 families, with many more expected to be assisted once needs assessments have taken place in the affected areas.
Find out more on the Caritas website
Photos courtesy NASSA, Caritas Philippines