Philippine floods updates

I had to think about the ordeal of many Filipino's when it rained very hard a couple of times these days. Even after a short downpour, some streets and houses here in Belgium were flooded. But still, that doesn't compare with what happened in the Philippines. This morning I received some fresh updates from Gabriela. "Everything here is going nuts," Gert writes.

I can imagine. The first two files you can download below, show the situation almost two weeks after the rains. Just to give you an idea, Barangay Cupang was the community where the picture was taken with me balancing six weeks ago on a footbridge: Can you imagine what happens when water levels rise 1 to 2 meters in these circumstances?

Gabriela is now also reaching out to their provincial chapters. The chapter in Southern Tagalog, just south of Manila, is reaching out to 42,000 affected people in the province of Laguna and 37,000 people in evacuation centers in the provinces of Laguna, Rizal and Quezon.

But after tyfoon Ondoy/Ketsana came Pepeng/Parma. Gert: "While I am emailing you, Northern Luzon and part of Central Luzon is still being battered by the rains from Pepeng. Some of the area affected in Baguio City and Benguet are organizing areas of INNABUYOG, the GABRIELA chapter in the Cordillera. Though we have not yet gotten any concrete data. The north is still presently isolated with two bridges still down and the land slides blocking the roads up the mountainous areas. It is is our health teams in the areas who are involved in the relief operations. Now, we are trying to get enough medicines for the medical missions which the people in our areas are requesting." The appeal from the Cordillera People's Alliance that you can download below gives you some more data about the devastation by this new tyfoon.

Fortunately, there's also much hope in the updates Gert is sending me. As a comment to the file abouth Jubilee Eastville, she adds: "At the same this is one of our areas which has been able to mobilize the people not badly affected by the floods to give help. Since day 1 up to last weekend, they have been cooking food for the "evacuees", mostly children and nursing mothers, who have been given refuge in the GABRIELA day care center. Indeed, besides relief distribution, GABRIELA chapters have also tried to find shelter for those who have lost their homes or are at risk."

I can only tell her that we're still raising funds:

And for those of you who don't have much time, there's always AlJazeera English. I posted two short news reports on the aftermath of tyfoon Ondoy/Ketsana in Manila and new tyfoon Pepeng in the north of the country.

ondoy_cupang_situationer_10_days_after.pdf2.04 MB
Jubilee_Eastville_a_Ghost_Community.pdf1.63 MB
Urgent_Appeal_for_Support_to__the_Victims_of_Typhoon_Pepeng.pdf402.63 KB
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