On September 26, Tropical Storm Ketsana hit the northern Philippines, causing the death of 240 people and displacing 450,000, according to official reports. The province of Rizal, southeast of Manila, is one of the areas that has been hardest hit by the floods.
After a quick assessment of the needs in Rizal, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical team began to provide medical care to people in an evacuation center in the location of Montalban, east of Manila. Around 80 medical consultations were provided on September 30.
People, generally the poorest, who were living close to the river have had their homes and belongings washed away in the floodwaters. People are in need of non-food items such as blankets, cooking pots, mattresses, jerry cans, and hygiene kits, which MSF is providing.
Other MSF teams assessed 10 additional locations in Rizal and Bulacan Provinces to identify needs. The assessments are still ongoing, with particular attention given to locations where the response so far has been limited. A team of 13 MSF international staff are on the ground for this emergency with more doctors and water and sanitation specialists on standby.
MSF is currently running a project on Mindanao Island, in the south of the country, providing medical care to displaced people.