18 December 2011
Tropical Storm Washi (local name Sendong) unleashed devastating flash floods on the southern island of Mindanao during the night of 16th December, dropping the equivalent of one month’s rainfall in just one day. The resulting flash floods, which rose very quickly during the night, killed at least 957 people, with at least 49 still missing.
UNICEF is now turning its focus to the estimated 200,000 children affected by the floods, with 20,000 currently in evacuation centres.
A huge rescue and relief operation across the stricken north coast of Mindanao has been launched by the Philippine government. Locals say the flooding is the worst they have ever experienced.
Tropical Storm Washi is also expected to hit the western island of Palawan on Saturday night after crossing the Sulu Sea. Sendong is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday afternoon, but heavy rainfall will still be experienced in nearby areas.
- An estimated 200,000 children affected by the floods, with 20,000 currently in evacuation centres.
- Many families sought refuge on top of rooftops and are in urgent need of rescue, water, food, and clothing.
- Current efforts are focused on rescue and evacuation operations. Evacuation centres are being set up and families are being evacuated.
- Electricity and communications are down in Cagayan de Oro city, and there is no water in the affected barangays (villages).
- UNICEF is co-ordinating with Philippine government and humanitarian agency partners and is participating in a multi-agency assessment to Cagayan de Oro, organised by the government. All clusters are participating.
- UNICEF has the following supplies pre-positioned in Manila and Cotabato city, ready to dispatch: 388 water kits, 40,000 water purification tabs, 3,683 water containers, 2,710 packing sacks, 7,000 hygiene kits, 31 cartons of therapeutic food, 365 school packs, Vitamin A for children and mothers, 18 tarpaulins, 4 tent sets, 76 recreation kits for psycho social support.