IOM Mobilizes to Aid Over 100,000 Filipinos Displaced by Typhoon Koppu
Philippines - IOM is gearing up to help over 100,000 people on the Philippine island of Luzon displaced by Typhoon Koppu (locally known as Lando).
According to the government, some 104,000 people were evacuated from the path of the typhoon, which made landfall at 1:00 am Sunday (18/10) over Casiguran, Aurora province. Some 55,600 people are now sheltering in 255 evacuation centers, with another 48,700 sheltering with family and friends.
PAGASA, the Philippines weather agency, warned that the 600 km diameter typhoon could bring storm surges of up to two meters, 185 km an hour winds, torrential rain and the risk of landslides in 24 affected provinces.
While the typhoon has now been downgraded to a tropical storm and is slowly moving towards the northern tip of Luzon, it has left a trail of destruction, including flooding and landslides. While many communications remain down and roads blocked, initial media reports suggest that at least 23 people have died and six more are missing. Thousands of hectares of farmland have been flooded ahead of the upcoming rice harvest.
The Government of the Philippines has not asked for international humanitarian assistance, but has asked IOM to take part in a rapid post-disaster needs assessment which began today.
IOM has also been asked to deploy its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to gather first-hand data on the displaced population. As global co-chair of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster, it will also help evacuation center managers, camp leaders and local government partners to cope with the influx of thousands of people displaced by the storm.
IOM has also deployed two ten-wheeler trucks from its Tacloban warehouse to the affected area. Each is carrying 3,000 shelter grade plastic sheets to provide emergency shelter for typhoon victims, according to IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Marco Boasso.
“IOM has been supporting the Philippine government’s initiatives on preparedness and response since 2005. The 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan lessons highlighted the need to listen more and harness more the local resources for more effective disaster response and preparedness. We will work hand in hand with the government, civil society, private sector and other humanitarian actors to provide life-saving assistance as soon as possible,” he notes.
IOM is also co-chairing a humanitarian agency community engagement working group with UN OCHA to support local government in affected areas with communications and aerial assessments. According to UN OCHA, priority needs are food and non-food items, emergency communications and emergency shelter support.
The Philippines Government has pre-positioned emergency food aid. Some 62,077 family food packs have been pre-positioned in 92 municipalities of 15 provinces in Regions CAR, II, III, and IV-A. Some 22,038 displaced families or over 100,000 people have already been given food packs.