CBM launches emergency appeal as typhoon Washi leaves Philippines in state of 'national calamity'

Typhoon Washi (known locally as Sendong) swept through the southern Philippine island of Mindanao on Saturday 17th December, leaving a trail of widespread flooding, landslides and destruction.

The Philippines president, Benigno Aquino declared a state of 'national calamity' after more than one month's rain fell in just 12 hours.

It is estimated that at least 1,000 people have been killed, with more bodies continuing to be discovered. Around 430,000 people have been affected by the typhoon which has decimated whole villages - leaving nothing but mud and wreckage.

The worst affected areas to date are Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities on the coast of the Northern Mindanao region.

People with disabilities are most at risk

The impact of typhoon Washi is greater for those living with a disability. Some people with disabilities will struggle to escape the floodwaters, or to find safety and the support that they need.

Typhoon Washi victims who are made homeless after their houses were swept away by flash floods rest at an evacuation center in Cagayan de Oro in the southern Philippines December 18, 2011.Typhoon Washi victims rest at an evacuation centre after their houses were swept away. Photo: Reuters/Castro, courtesy Trust.org - AlertNet

Some people may have become newly disabled as a result of this disaster and are now in desperate need for treatment or support as they try to rebuild their lives. Others may be at risk of potentially disabling disease or death, as clean water and medicines become hard to find.

CBM partner in Cagayan de Oro - the Philippine Service of Mercy Foundation - which provides rural health services, reports that many people with disabilities have been swept away by the floodwater.

CBM and its local partner network have begun assessing the immediate and long-term needs of those affected by the typhoon.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 10% of a disaster affected population will develop serious psychological trauma.

CBM's long-term relationship with its supporters and with its local Philippines partners will make it possible to deliver comprehensive rehabilitation programmes to individuals and communities who are now in need of support.

CBM has been working in the Philippines with local partners for many years, with a regional office based in Manila.

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