Thursday, October 15, 2009

Updates on the devastation brought about by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng

I don't have the energy nor the inclination to throw phrases like "planetary homeostasis" and development aggression or launch into semi-poetic lines like "The abuse of Nature is the abuse of man, and in the end, it is man who suffers."

I don't want to pretend that I am more intelligent than I really am or more concerned about this than I really am.  The thing is, I never really listened to my teachers in college and never really got high grades, either in English or typing -- which most people merely I assume I am good at because they think I write well.

Anyway, the reason why I am writing this post is because Maricar and Dawn wrote a comment on this blog asking me to put up pictures and videos of the flooding brought about by Typhoon Pepeng.Other bloggers have been doing their part and I feel rather guilty right now for not devoting enough posts on the effects of Pepeng.  But feeling guilty is not enough, I know I have to join others and try to help out.  I don't think I am being a hero by doing this and I am not going to fold paper cranes so that Filipinos will realize that their over-riding priority in the next 10 years should be to adapt to climate change.

With that said, let me address Maricar and Dawn's requests.

Here is video from some guy at the Mangatarem Foursquare Gospel Church preparing for the Victims of Typhoon Pepeng for Dorongan, Mangatarem, Pangasinan

Here is another. Information on this says "This video was taken last October 10, 2009 at 10:29am during the height of the flooding in the central district of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, Philippines."

For some reason, it looks pretty sunny.

And here's a more interesting video from a fool who should have been scurrying over to a more safer place.

I really do hope this doesn't encourage people to go out in the middle of a typhoon just to act out a fantasy of being a TV news cameraman.  It is really stupid and doesn't help anyone.

Now, I really don't find videos as well as pictures very useful.

What I do find useful is folding paper cranes and waxing poetic about how I use pantene on my long hair... Er... No, not really...

But seriously, what is most useful is information from a reliable and credible source -- and I am not talking about GMA7 or ABS-CBN.  I am talking about the Philippine National Red Cross and its chapters all over the country.

You can find information about the effects of any disaster on the PNRC website and another website that seems to be doing a good job of informing people about disasters is www.reliefweb.nt.  Here is a report  sourced from WHO which they posted.

Philippines: Tropical Storm Ketsana ("Ondoy") and Typhoon Parma ("Pepeng") Health Cluster Situation Report 12

Main points

Tropical Storm Ketsana
- 880 175 families / 4 320 699 individuals have been affected in 1 902 barangays. 45 129 families / 216 941 individuals remain in 447 evacuation centres

- Casualties: Casualties: 437 Dead, 3 769 injured

- Confirmed acute watery diarrhea outbreak in 2 municipalities (San Pedro, Laguna; Marilao, Bulacan)

- Confirmed Leptospirosis outbreak in 3 barangays in Marikina (Tumana, Concepcion, Malanday)

- More than Php 1B (USD 21 M) in damage to health facilities reported

- The top 5 morbidity cases in the evacuation centers according to 3-day running average by National Epidemiology Center are: acute respiratory infection (53%), skin infection (19%), diarrhea (15%), fever (9%), influenza-like illness (4%), pneumonia (0.3%)

- As of 13 October 2009, mobile missions have been conducted by 187 Medical, 25 Psychosocial, 33 WASH, 5 Nutrition, 2 Disease Surveillance, 13 Assessment, 54 Public Health teams, and 6 international teams deployed by DOH to 452 sites

Typhoon Parma
- 675 681 families / 3 136 965 individuals have been affected in 4 472 barangays in 356 municipalities. 17 506 families / 83 432 individuals remain in 179 evacuation centres

- Casualties: 375 Dead, 185 injured

- The top morbidities based preliminary data from consultations in 2 Municipalities affected are: wounds, upper respiratory tract infection, skin infections, hypertension, and others (muscle pains, headache, acute gastroenteritis)

- More than Php 498M (USD 10.3 M) in damage to 13 health facilities has been reported

Tropical Storm Ketsana

Health Situation Assessment
- NDCC reported that the number of evacuees decreased to 45 129 families / 216 941 individuals in 447 evacuation centres. Total number of affected increased to 880 175 families / 4 320 699 individuals in 1 902 barangays.

- Access to essential health services: DOH estimates at least Php 1 B (USD 21 M) in damage was sustained by 17 Government Hospitals, 110 Municipal Health Centers, and 7 LGU Hospitals.

- The top 5 morbidity cases in the evacuation centers according to 3-day running average by National Epidemiology Center are: acute respiratory infection (53%), skin infection (19%), diarrhea (15%), fever (9%), influenza-like illness (4%), pneumonia (0.3%)

- The National Epidemiology Center (NEC) has confirmed an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea in one barangay in Marilao, Bulacan and one evacuation center in San Pedro, Laguna. 97 cases have been reported by DOH hospitals (1 adult, 96 pediatric). Two deaths have been confirmed in Marilao, both of female children (1 year-old and three year-old). Cases have been confirmed by The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. Reports from San Pedro are still incoming. New cases down from 50 cases per day to 1-2 per day.

- NEC has also confirmed an outbreak of Leptospirosis in 3 barangays in Marikina (Tumana, Concepcion, Malanday). 230 cases of Leptospirosis (197 adult, 33 pediatric) are reported from DOH hospitals and reports from private hospitals are still incoming.

Health Cluster Response
- In response to the acute watery diarrhea outbreak, rationing of water and water disinfection is being done by the LGU in Marilao. In San Pedro, an infirmary within the evacuation center has been established to treat cases of acute watery diarrhea.

- DOH will meet with local chief executives of affected areas and has increased logistic support to hospitals to enhance surge capacity. Details of government intervention measures will be seen in the coming days.

- NEC has given contact information for event-based reporting where cluster agencies and other partners can share information obtained from their mobile clinics or assessment efforts (see below).

- WHO has procured and will donate 20 diarrheal kits that can treat up to 10,000 cases to DOH HEMS and NGOs that are responding to the disaster. MSF has sent a medical team to Marilao. The surveillance system, case management, and preventive measures need to be reinforced in all evacuation centers and flood affected areas. More resources are needed to contain the potential spread of water-borne diseases.

- As of 13 October 2009, 227 portalets have been distributed for 8 evacuation centers in Marikina (80 units), 6 evacuation centers in Quezon City (36 units ), 4 evacuations in Pasig (29), one evacuation center in Pateros (3), 5 centers in Muntinlupa (26), 9 centers in Cainta (29), and 4 sites in Laguna (24). For a detailed distribution list, please visit:

- WHO is providing continued technical guidance to DOH and the health cluster by providing case management guidelines for Leptospirosis and acute watery diarrhea in the WHO Philippines Website (, UN Health Cluster Response Page (link below), as well as through cluster communications. Health Cluster Toolkits are also being distributed to cluster agencies.

- Communicable disease risk analysis has been done by WHO and the results have been shared with cluster agencies through the publication of the document "Public health risk assessment and interventions: Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma: the Philippines" available in

- WHO will provide 2 generator sets to Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center.

- CFSI continues to provide psychosocial care for 6 barangays in Marikina, 2 barangays and one relocation site in Cainta, and in the major evacuation center in Pasig

Critical Constraints
- Several areas have limited access to health services and aid

- Fluidity of evacuation camp situation hinders accurate mapping, assessment, and disease surveillance

- Prolonged high-risk exposure due to retained flood water in many areas is expected

Urgent Needs
- Scaling up access of essential health services to all affected

- Improve case-based disease surveillance for communicable diseases and health and humanitarian service coverage in evacuation centers

- Increase resources aimed at containing the spread of water-borne and vector-borne diseases

- Ensuring a return to functionality of primary care facilities and re-establishment of essential health care activities, including vaccination

Typhoon Parma
Health Situation Assessment
- Rapid needs assessment by UN-GOP team still ongoing.

- The top morbidities based preliminary data from 74 consultations (58 adult, 16 pediatric) in 2 Municipalities affected are: wounds, upper respiratory tract infection, skin infections, hypertension, and others (muscle pains, headache, acute gastroenteritis).

- Php 498M (USD 10.3 M) in damage to 6 hospitals, 1 Regional office, 4 rural health units, and 2 barangay health stations have been reported. Region 1 Medical Center, the main trauma center for the region, reported damages amounting to more than Php 456M (USD 9.5M). Damage to records, pharmacy, laboratory, radiology, OR, ER, DR, blood bank, OPD facilities and equipment amounted to more than PhP 453M (USD 9.4M). Emergency room operations and ward admissions have resumed but serious cases and those requiring surgery are referred to private facilities or to the provincial hospital.

Health Cluster Response
- The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team, together with representatives from IOM, WFP, WHO, UNFPA, and DOH will conduct a rapid needs assessment of the affected areas in Regions I, III, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

- DOH has deployed 1 medical and 1 assessment team to 6 Evacuation Centers in CAR.

- More than Php 2.72 M (USD 566 679) has been given by DOH in augmented drugs, medicines and supplies.

- UNFPA has distributed 430 hygiene kits to Region III and is doing rapid assessments in Baguio City and the Province of Benguet.

 Critical Constraints
- Massive flooding in the affected areas from the collapse of dikes and release of water from major dams in the affected regions is expected to continue early into the coming week.

- Thirty eight (38) municipalities and three (3) in Region I are still flooded as of 10:00 PM, October 11, 2009: 23 and 3 cities in Pangasinan; 9 in La Union, 1 in Ilocos Sur and 5 in Ilocos Norte.

- A total of fifty six (56) road sections and nine (9) bridges were affected which were rendered impassable or hardly passable.

Urgent Needs
- Continued assessment of the health situation in the affected communities and in evacuation centers to determine the most urgent health needs

With contributions from:
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Philippine National Red Cross
Save the Children
Handicap International
Australian Aid International (AAI)
Plan International
Corporate Network for Disaster Response (CNDR)
Community and Family Services International (CFSI)
Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP)
Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP)

1. Department of Health – Health Emergency Management Staff (DOH-HEMS) - Health Emergency Alert Reporting System (HEARS)
2. National Disaster Coordinating Council Update – Situation Report No.23 (6 October 2009, 2300 hrs)
3. Daily updates from health cluster agencies and health cluster meetings

For more information, please contact:
WHO Country Office
Dr Paul Andrew Zambrano

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...