Update on the situation in the Philippines

December 5, 2012

Briefly, typhoon “Pablo” as we call it here has now passed through Mindanao and is moving out to Palawan and the western part of the islands. It left a lot of destruction in its path due to high winds and lots of rain. Parts of Surigao, which is on the eastern coast of Mindanao were badly affected and the full extent of the damage and fatalities is still not known. Compostella Valley – New Bataan – had a very severe flash flood and there are many casualties as well as damage.

In Cagayan de Oro, where the rehabilitation from Typhoon Sendong (last December 16/17) is still ongoing was again very badly hit with both the Cagayan and Iponan rivers overflowing and many thousands of people displaced once again. There was heavy rain but the problem once again was the rains that fell on Bukidnon (mountainous area) and then came down the rivers towards Cagayan. These are basically the same people who had been affected last year. Lots of houses destroyed or damaged but no fatalities reported as yet – people had been better prepared and the local government and other agencies worked hard to have people evacuate early.

Ozamiz had heavy rain and winds but no reports of too much damage or fatalities.

Columban Fr. Patrick O’Donoghue, the Philippine region director, provided the information. Columbans have been living and working in the Philippines since 1929.