- Posted December 12, 2012 by
ShelterBox assesses need in Philippines
ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) member, John Cordell (US) describes his journey to Compostela Valley in Davao Oriental province, Philippines, one of the worst hit areas by super Typhoon Bopha on the island of Mindanao. He is part of a three-person team who has been assessing the need in the region.
Almost a quarter of the 4.1 million people affected by the destructive storm are in Compostela Valley, also known as Camval, with ninety percent of the 7,200 totally destroyed homes being here. Out of the 800 people still missing, 500 are in Camval. Buildings have been washed away or buried by flash floods and mudslides. Food and water is scarce.
"We have been told that Bopha is the worst storm this area has ever seen," said Cordell.
While rescue efforts continue, ShelterBox has been working with local government units, the regional disaster management authority, the civil defense, the navy and Rotary to address the needs of the most vulnerable families in the province.
As Bopha hit, many families took cover, some in their concrete toilets, others under their wooden dining tables. Victoria Bunda was living with her seven children aged 2-14 years old in Montevista, Camval when the storm struck.
"At the height of the storm, we all scrambled to safety by taking cover under our wooden dining table," explained Victoria. "We then had an opportunity to run out of the house. A few seconds later, the strong 150 kilometer per hour winds slammed into our home flattening it to the ground and scattering pieces everywhere."
The family then ran to the safety of their neighbor's house but saw the same had happened to theirs. Together both families took shelter in another neighbor's house, built sturdier.
"We found Victoria and her family living in a makeshift shelter made out of debris and tarp," said SRT member, Sonny Ongkiko (PH). "The youngest girl in the family is sick and has a very high fever. We are working hard to bring in ShelterBoxes as quickly as possible to give families, like Victoria's, the shelter, warmth and protection they need to live in dignity."
About ShelterBox USA
Since 2000, ShelterBox has provided shelter, warmth and dignity to families following more than 200 disasters in over 85 countries. Every ShelterBox contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, water filtration system, stove, blankets and children’s activity kit, among other essential tools to help families rebuild their lives. ShelterBox is a Rotary International Project Partner and is supported by individuals, Rotary Clubs, corporations, foundations and other groups worldwide.
ShelterBox’s American affiliate, ShelterBox USA, is headquartered in Sarasota, Fla. Individual tax-deductible donations to ShelterBox USA can be made at www.shelterboxusa.org, 941-907-6036 or via text message by sending SHELTER to 20222 for a one-time $10 donation.