Typhoon Bopha – locally known as Pablo – made landfall on December 4 in Baganga, Davao Oriental province, on the east coast of the Philippine island of Mindanao. The typhoon has affected the lives of over 5 million people, wrecked over 70,000 houses and left more than 133,000 people seeking shelter in temporary evacuation centres.
Red Cross assessment teams, who have been surveying the scale of the destruction since the deadly storm made landfall, have described the scale of devastation that they have witnessed as staggering. According to disaster authorities, while 600 people have been killed almost 800 people are still missing.
The Philippines Red Cross is rolling out a massive relief operation. Teams on the ground have so far provided food and non-food supplies such as bedding and water storage containers to some 5,000 families in need.
Providing communities with food, shelter and clean water are immediate priorities. So far, Philippines Red Cross staff and volunteers have served ready-to-eat meals to 15,000 people in evacuation centres, delivered food package to 5,000 families and provided non-food supplies such as sleeping mats, blankets, hygiene items and tents to 1,000 families.
The Canadian Red Cross is standing by with specialized equipment and highly trained personnel, ready to assist if help is requested.