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Friday 10 August 2012

ShelterBox assesses need in the Philippines
ShelterBox assesses need in the Philippines Photograph taken from the ShelterBox response to flooding in The Philippines in August 2011.

The Philippines capital Manila and the surrounding area is experiencing its worst floods since 2009, due to unusually heavy monsoon rainfall triggered by tropical storm Haikui.

Reports say that more than half the amount of rain normally seen in August has fallen in the capital in 24 hours, resulting in over 270,000 people being forced from their homes due to the exceptionally high floodwaters.

Benito Ramos is the head of the country's disaster response agency and said that at least 60% of the city was underwater:

'We're still concerned about the situation in the coastal areas as it was difficult to distinguish the sea from the floodwaters.'

Sonny Ongkiko (PH) and Abner Tayco (PH) are two ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) members based in Manila who have been assessing the need for emergency shelter in the urban area.

They will be joined by SRT members Peter Pearce (AU) and Ross MacKenzie (NZ) in the next couple of days to form two SRTs; one team will continue needs assessments in Manila and the other will assess need in the nearby rural areas.

'Local knowledge'

'Having in-country SRT volunteers has enabled us to monitor the flooding in the Philippines and respond immediately to the disaster,' said ShelterBox Operations Manager, Alf Evans.

'We are in a good position to respond effectively and quickly with Sonny's and Abner's local knowledge and contacts, as well as the ShelterBoxes we have prepositioned in the Filipino city Clark.'

The Philippines is prone to storms that annually cause widespread damage and displacement, but up until now, the worst to hit was three years ago in September when Typhoon Ketsana struck Manila.
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