Oxfam emergency aid teams report devastation in Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan

Emergencies, Media Releases, News article written on the 11 Nov 2013

Oxfam aid team witnesses scene of utter destruction in northern-most tip of Cebu, Philippines. Oxfam staff in Vietnam prepare for Typhoon Haiyan to hit land today.

An Oxfam team of aid experts assessing the level of typhoon damage in Daanbantayan, the northern-most tip of Cebu mainland, have reported nearly all the houses and buildings were damaged, power lines down and no electricity in the entire municipality.

The team spoke of seeing children begging for help, holding up signs that read: “Help. We need water, food and medicines.”

Roads to the area were hardly passable with trees and wreckage of houses lining the highway. 

Local officials said 98 per cent of the houses and structures in the municipality were damaged. This included the town hall and a cultural centre which had served as an evacuation centre but had itself had to be evacuated due to the level of damage.

The town’s mayor told the team the people needed water for drinking, food, medicines and emergency shelter.

“The scene is one of utter devastation. There is no electricity in the entire area and no water. Local emergency food stocks have been distributed but stocks are dwindling. The immediate need is water, both for drinking and both for cleaning,” said Tata Abella-Bolo, a member of Oxfam’s emergency team in Cebu.

Oxfam is currently preparing for Typhoon Haiyan to hit land in Vietnam in the coming hours while also deploying teams to areas hardest hit by the typhoon in the Philippines and appealing for funds to help victims of the super storm.

Assessment teams are on standby for deployment to affected regions and are closely coordinating with other agencies and Vietnamese authorities.

Based on experience, the likely needs that Oxfam will respond to will be access to clean water, sanitation and emergency shelter. 

To donate to Oxfam’s Typhoon Appeal please call 1800 034 034 or go to www.oxfam.org.au

For interviews please contact: Laurelle Keough on laurellek@oxfam.org.au 0425 701 801 / Anne Wright annew@oxfam.org.au or 0411 035 695