Philippines Typhoon Hagupit Relief Work Begins

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The people of the Philippines urgently need the most basic life essentials: food, water, shelter, medical care and sanitation.


CRS emergency relief activities are underway after Typhoon Hagupit struck the Philippines on Saturday, December 6. While the scale of damage across the country remains to be seen at this early stage, as many as 25 people have died, and fears loom of potential floods and landslides following the days of heavy rain.

CRS teams have been carrying out assessments in the affected areas of Samar, the island where the storm made landfall. The immediate needs include food, shelter materials, and water and sanitation. CRS teams are distributing some of the 2,000 kits that arrived in Borongan in eastern Samar. They will support the local Church's response to the most vulnerable people in the coming days and weeks.

In Samar's municipalities of Taft, Can-Avid and Dolores, 30% to 60% of homes–many built with light materials like bamboo and plywood—were damaged or destroyed. The storm's wind pulled the roofs from many houses. Many families need tarps and other materials to protect them from the elements.

Typhoon Hagupit: 5 Fast Facts About CRS in the Philippines

  1. CRS transitional shelters, built after Typhoon Haiyan to weather heavy storms, stood strong in the face of Hagupit.
  2. Logistics of delivering aid will likely face some challenges: At least 92 domestic flights have been canceled and ferry services have been suspended in all ports. CRS field teams say streets are clogged by debris in central Samar.
  3. CRS is ready to deploy living supplies, water and sanitation, and shelter materials for thousands of people as soon as the areas of greatest need are identified.
  4. Catholic Churches provided refuge to 10,000 people in Palo. In Samar, 804 people took refuge at a bishop's residence.
  5. CRS Typhoon Haiyan Emergency Impact:
    • Emergency relief: 40,000 people received emergency shelter, water and living supplies in the first 3 months.
    • Transitional Shelter: 3,178 homes were completed and 5,215 are under construction.
    • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: 2,832 household latrines were built or repaired, and 3,026 are under construction; 34,861 people participated in CRS hygiene promotion trainings or campaigns; 146 hand pumps were installed in Palo and Tacloban; 40 schools now have hand-washing stations.
    • Livelihoods: 4,281 families (the goal is to reach 9,000) are getting back to work with cash assistance and technical support to train for employment in one of the following areas that they may choose: small businesses, agriculture, livestock production, fishery and aquaculture, or gardening.
    • Learn more about CRS spending in the Philippines.

Photo by Vilma Horca/CRS