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Habitat for Humanity Philippines steps up disaster response after Typhoon Bopha

Bangkok, 7 December 2012: Habitat for Humanity Philippines is assisting families affected by Typhoon Bopha. It has distributed food and helped set up soup kitchens in areas worst hit by the typhoon. Tapping Habitat’s extensive volunteer network in the Philippines, it will also start debris clear-up operations soon.

Bopha damaged thousands of buildings

According to latest government figures, over 10,000 homes have been destroyed and a further 5,000 are partially damaged. Many areas hit by the storm remain inaccessible as a result of landslides and fallen trees.

“Shelter is one of the most urgently needed forms of assistance, along with food, water and medical care, in the aftermath of a disaster. Habitat staff are currently in three of the worst affected areas on Mindanao island – Compostela Valley in the Davao region, and Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur in the Caraga region. We are coordinating with the government and other partners on disaster response operations,” said Rick Hathaway, Asia-Pacific vice president for Habitat for Humanity.

Typhoon Bopha struck the island of Mindanao at Baganga, a coastal municipality, in the early morning of Tuesday, 4 December. The typhoon then moved across the island during the course of the day, wreaking havoc in Davao, Caraga and northern Mindanao regions, and went on to affect other Philippine islands.

The latest disaster comes almost a year after tropical storm Washi, known locally as Sendong, hit Mindanao last December. Washi killed over 1,500 people and affected some 625,000 Filipinos. Habitat for Humanity Philippines was involved in the immediate response and recovery operations, distributing emergency shelter kits. It has also partnered the Philippine government, volunteers, businesses and affected families to build thousands of homes in large-scale resettlement areas in the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, in northern Mindano.