The Philippine Air Force (PAF) has agreed to help ShelterBox distribute emergency shelter, if needed, to southernmost Philippine island Mindanao after a tropical storm struck on 16 December.
Jose Ongkiko (PH) and Abner Tayco (PH) will be part of the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) arriving in Mindanao on Tuesday 20 December to assess the need for emergency shelter. The SRT leader will be Rotarian Jesus Nicdao, Chairman and Founder of ShelterBox Philippines.
Raging floodwaters cascaded from the mountains in Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines, after 12 hours of non-stop rain from late-season Typhoon Washi. Nearly 700 people were asleep as they were swept to their deaths, according to Associated Press. Cagayan de Oro and Iligan were the towns that were hit hard by the floods forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes to head for higher ground.
Philippine National Red Cross Secretary General Gwen Pang said that Mindanao is a mineral-rich region that also produces rice and corn but is not normally in the path of the average 20 typhoons that hit the Southeast Asian country each year:
‘This poses challenges to us… We need to educate people with this kind of change in climate. The volume of rainfall for one month fell in just one day.’
‘The feeling is overwhelming as I prepare for deployment. The region is unaccustomed to the typhoons that are common to other areas of the archipelago,’ said SRT Volunteer Abner. ‘Thousands are left homeless and hundreds are still missing. In this season of giving, ShelterBox will provide temporary shelter and comfort to those who have lost everything.’
There are over 500 pre-positioned ShelterBoxes in the Philippine city of Clark to enable rapid support. To find out how you can give the gift of shelter this holiday season, please click here.