Philippines – Tropical Storm Tembin Causes Devastation

On 22 December tropical storm Tembin (known locally as “Vinta”) hit Mindanao island in the Philippines.

The storm affected more than 715,000 people across 23 provinces, in particular the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Cagayan de Oro.

Heavy rains caused severe flash floods and landslides in Cagayan de Oro City (Northern Mindanao) as well as in several towns in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga Sibugay provinces, according to OCHA (pdf).

Over 1,600 homes have been destroyed and as of 29 December, thousands of people were still displaced, with 112,553 staying in 204 different evacuation centres and over 25,000 staying with families and friends.

Patrick Elliott, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Operations and Programmes Manager in the Philippines said:

“People have gone through a massive shock. In just minutes, they lost everything, and then had to fight for their lives as walls of mud and water washed through their homes.”

“Now we must ensure that affected communities have immediate access to essential items and services including cash, food, water, sanitation, shelter and healthcare, as well to information, psychosocial support, and protection,” he added.

Over 240 deaths have been reported. That figure is expected to rise as search, rescue and retrieval teams locate the missing people believed to be buried in mud or swept by flood waters.

Although Tembin exited Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 24 December 2017. The Philippines government is leading a recovery effort and a state of calamity has been declared.

Destruction in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Tembin, December 2017. Photo: Philippines Red Cross

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