Following the killings of 46 people on the island of Mindanao on Monday, November 23, MSF teams in the Philippines temporarily suspended their activities as the organization’s local contacts said the situation was currently too tense in the area to travel by road.
Typhoon Mirinae hit the east coast of Quezon province in the Philippines on October 30, packing winds of 93 mph with gusts of up to 115 mph. Mirinae, also called Santi, brought heavy rain and floods to the area before weakening into a tropical storm and veering towards Vietnam. The Philippines has been hit hard this season, with Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma first causing havoc about a month ago.
In Manila and in the North of the Philippines, MSF teams continue to assist the most vulnerable people affected by Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma, which struck the country on September 26 and October 3, affecting over 8.4 million and causing 849 deaths.
As Typhoon Lupit is expected to make landfall on the Philippines on October 22 or 23, the northern part of the country is still trying hard to recuperate from recent weeks of heavy rain, which has caused floods and triggered devastating mudslides. On October 9, dozens of towns and villages in the province of Benguet were hit by mudslides that killed hundreds of people and buried settlements under a thick layer of mud. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is currently providing medical assistance and relief items to victims in the most affected areas in Pangasinan and Tarlac provinces and is assessing needs in Benguet.
Torrential and prolonged rains continue to flood new areas of the main Philippine island, Luzon. Mobile teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are providing medical care and relief items to the most vulnerable people in remote and inaccessible areas where many have yet to receive any help.
More than a week after several natural disasters in the East Asia and South Pacific regions, MSF mental health staff are beginning to train local counselors, as well as give direct psychological support.
MSF doctors and logisticians are currently assessing the situation on the main island of Luzon, as Typhoon Parma continues to rain on the northern Philippines. Authorities fear new landslides and floods as heavy rains and strong winds still prevail in the area. The two MSF teams conducting the assessment are also carrying out medical consultations as they move from place to place.
A second severe storm hit the northern part of the Philippines on October 3, causing extensive material damage and killing 15 people. MSF has dispatched a team to conduct an assessment of the medical needs of the affected communities.