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Flooding and volcanic activity

wednesday, 6 september:

Last week, eight months after Typhoon Washi, a ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) returned to Mindanao in the Philippines to find out what had happened to the families who had lost everything.

SRT member Jim Kemp (UK) was on his first ShelterBox deployment:

‘Just the day before, I was near the capital Manila seeing families made homeless by the recent floods move into ShelterBox tents, so I was eager to hear the experiences of families in Mindanao who had lived in the tents and moved out.

‘When we arrived in Cagayan de Oro, it was hard to imagine the destruction that the typhoon had caused. The city was getting ready for a festival, shops were open, and the streets were busy and all around were signs of construction.

‘We heard that there were still some families living in ShelterBox tents, but the first camp location we went to was empty as the families had recently transferred to more permanent shelters.

‘The next site we travelled to at Calaalan was full of activity as the land was being used to build permanent houses. Further in the distance we could see the familiar white domes of ShelterBox tents dotted around what had once been a busy camp of more than 200.

‘Luckily just as we arrived, we saw a family taking down their ShelterBox tent and loading it into a ‘Jeepney’ truck. ’

Evangeline de la Peña, mother of five, lost her house and almost everything they owned when the typhoon struck in December 2011.

‘I was very pleased to get this tent from ShelterBox and stay in Calaanan after the typhoon. My children could still go to school while we waited for a permanent house.’

Her ShelterBox tent was still in good condition and they were packing it up to take with them to their new home – a house built by All Hands, one of the organisations which had helped ShelterBox set up the Calaanan camp.

Jim found Venus Torres, 48, sitting outside a ShelterBox tent waiting for her friend. She had been in the camp and now lived in a permanent house, but still comes back to visit her old neighbours in the Calaanan camp.

Venus lived with her husband and six children in Isla de Oro, an islet at the mouth of the Cagayan River.

‘We were used to flooding, usually it would come up to here’ Venus said, holding her hand by her knee, ‘and we would just stay in our house until the water went down.

‘This time was different, the electricity was cut off, it was dark and the water came quickly. We went up to the second floor and the water kept coming. The flood was a tragedy for everyone. I lost one of my grandchildren and my younger sister. Early the next morning, rescue workers came with boats and they took us to an evacuation centre. Everyone had to leave.’

The evacuation centre was in a school, and had to be cleared so that classes could continue. The ShelterBox camp gave Venus and others from Isla de Oro a temporary home.

‘Before the typhoon we had a shop selling food and groceries. When we moved into our new house we decided to start the business again.’

It has taken a lot of different organisations working together to help people like Evangeline and Venus get back on their feet.

‘Search and rescue got people out of immediate danger and into evacuation centres’ said Jim. ‘ShelterBox provided vital emergency shelter within weeks of the disaster and International Organization for Migration (IOM) managed the camps. Then Caritas and other organisations began building transitional shelters and All Hands, Habitat for Humanity and others built permanent houses away from the zones at high risk of flooding.

‘In Indahag we saw a handover ceremony for families moving into new houses. It was great to see the progress the community had made less than a year after Typhoon Washi.’

monday, 20 february:

ShelterBox Operations Coordinators and Reponse Team members Fionn Mckee (UK) and Alice Jefferson (UK) will arrive in the Philippines on 21 February to carry out a follow up programme of the deployment. They will be liaising with the International Federation of Red Cross (ICRC) and the local shelter cluster to see how the deployment went and discuss what measures could be taken in the future, if any, to make deployments there even easier.

Thursday, 9 February:

Local scouts, Rotarians and students have been helping ShelterBox Response Teams (SRT) set up camps in the devastated areas of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, providing emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies for thousands of the most vulnerable families in need.

To date, 573 ShelterBoxes have been distributed along with 500 midi tents and 443 standard disaster relief tents.

thursday, 26 january:

SRTs continue with ongoing needs assessment and the delivery of much needed emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies into the area.

489 ShelterBoxes have been distributed to date in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

tuesday, 17 january:

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) has set up ShelterBox tents at sites in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan providing thousands of families shelter, warmth and dignity during the aftermath of the disaster.

Families not only have a new home but they also have other lifesaving supplies that come in each ShelterBox. Blankets are included for comfort as well as a cooking stove with utensils and a water filter. Children can play with their activity packs and the box itself can be used as a water container or even a cot for a baby. Tool kits are also proving to be very valuable for the Filipino people.

‘The ShelterBox tent has become our new home and I am very thankful to ShelterBox,’ said Johnny Hernandez, a carpenter living in the ShelterBox village in Tambo, Iligan. ‘I am most grateful for the tools. I have built an extended roof onto the tent so we can live in even more comfort and I can also now provide properly for my family by using the tools to continue working in my trade. We can start to rebuild our life again.’

The SRT in the Philippines continues to assess further sites in the surrounding area to set up more ShelterBox tents.View the latest photos from the field here.

wednesday, 4 january:

A ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) is setting up ShelterBox relief camps on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines with help from the Philippines Air Force, Navy and Marines, who are assisting in loading and transporting prepositioned ShelterBoxes from the Filipino city, Clark, to the flood struck island. 

Typhoon Washi hit Mindanao on 16 to 18 December, devastating the cities of Cagayan do Oro and Iligan and killing over 1,200 people. Fresh floods brought more misery to the southern Philippines on 28 December forcing more people into evacuation centres.

Rotarian Jess Nicdao of ShelterBox Philippines has been supporting SRT Volunteers and working with the country’s military to distribute emergency shelter.

‘The Navy has also offered to provide transport for future deliveries of ShelterBoxes and tents from the ports to any destination in the Philippines,’ he said. ‘This is the first time we have had assistance from the military here and it is an invaluable partnership.’

ShelterBox continues to deliver ShelterBoxes and tents to families affected by the floods with support from local Rotarians and aid agencies including the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

View more photos from the Philippines on the ShelterBox Flickr page here.

tuesday, 20 december:

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.

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.

There are over 500 pre-positioned ShelterBoxes in the Philippine city of Clark to enable rapid support. back