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Earthquake in the Philippines: more than 37,000 families affected, HI ready to respond

Emergency
Philippines

Humanity & Inclusion has assessed the needs of victims after the Philippines was struck by several earthquakes between 16th and 31st October 2019. 

© HI

The Philippines was hit by a series of earthquakes between 16th and 31st October in Tulunan, North Cotabato. Some 21 people were killed, more than 400 were injured and schools, homes and health centres suffered extensive damage. Around 231,000 people are reported to have been affected, including 36,000 evacuees in 32 evacuation centres. More than 1,000 schools have been damaged, affecting more than 3 million students.

HI implemented a needs assessment for the victims in early November, focusing on the most vulnerable.

"Many people with disabilities cannot access distribution sites - for food, for example – some of which are remote. There is also often a long queue, which makes it very difficult for people with disabilities to access them.

As well as problems accessing food, disaster-affected people have little or no money, or if they do, they have no kitchen utensils. Access to safe drinking water is also a real problem. 

Many houses have also been destroyed or damaged, so residents sleep in evacuation centres, in tents, or in makeshift shelters. It is very hot during the day and at night it rains. They need blankets, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, etc.

With so many people living outside, there is little privacy and one mother told us she had to change her son with disabilities in front of everyone. This creates problems around the protection of the most vulnerable people,"

explains Reiza Dejito, director of HI in the Philippines.

For HI, the priority is to meet the basic needs of disaster-affected people, including access to drinking water, shelter, sanitation, etc., and then to enable injured and traumatized people to receive rehabilitation care and psychological support. 

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