Philippines: Number of displaced people increases from 3 million to 4 million – 2.5 million people require food aidPosted by Jim at Sunday, November 17, 2013
17 November 2013 (UNOCHA) – According to Government estimates, Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda) has affected between 10 million and 12.9 million people in nine regions, with nearly 40 per cent of affected people from Central Visayas. Estimates of affected people have decreased slightly in the last day as Government agencies continue to validate data. Estimates by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) project that over 4 million people have been displaced, of whom 3.6 million are living outside evacuation centres in Eastern and Western Visayas alone. Additional evacuation centres (ECs) have opened in these regions, bringing the total to 1,562 evacuation centres in affected areas. DSWD also estimates that over 1 million houses sustained damage, with over 490,000 completely destroyed. DSWD is the central Government body that collates and reports on official numbers of displaced, dead, and missing. All figures remain fluid as local and provincial authorities reach new areas and report updated numbers to the capital.
Access to affected areas has improved as debris is cleared and roads and bridges are repaired. All major roads are now accessible except the Janiuay-Iloilo road (Iloilo province) due to a damaged bridge. Access to remote areas remains more difficult, but is also improving. The Armed Forces of the Philippines report that all airports are now operational, although Roxas airport is only open during the day, and Tacloban airport has limited operations. Ormoc, Guiuan and Borongan airports are now open to C130 aircraft transporting large amounts of relief goods. Sea ports are also now operational.
Public services are being restored, but with continuing intermittent power in five regions: IV-B, V, VI, VII and VIII. The Government estimates that 566 transmission towers and seven substations have been damaged. In Western Visayas, telephone lines are down in Aklan and Capiz provinces, and only limited mobile coverage is available. Fuel shortages continue to pose a challenge, and partners are distributing 26,000 litres of fuel.
The Government, with support from the humanitarian community, is expanding life-saving activities, with an estimated 814,000 people having now received food aid, mainly in Leyte province. Despite this progress, partners report food shortages in Easter Samar, Northern Cebu, Iloilo and Capiz provinces. The main water pipeline and water treatment plant have been repaired in Tacloban, and about 80 per cent of the population now has access to piped water, which requires chlorination to be drinkable. Repairs to a network of smaller pipes are under way. Government reports indicate that some areas of Western Visayas (e.g., Barbaza municipality and Capiz and Iloilo provinces) lack access to running water, and humanitarian partners report that towns in Eastern Samar and Cebu provinces lack access to drinking water. Over 46 per cent of health facilities assessed in four regions (IV-A, IV-B, VII and VIII) are not functioning due to damage. Reports of damage to health facilities in other affected areas are being confirmed. Re-establishing health services will require solar-powered refrigerators and diesel generators, among other critical equipment. Overcrowding and poor sanitation are concerns in large evacuation centres. In Tacloban, over 56,000 people are living in the Astrodome evacuation centre alone. Deliveries of shelter and hygiene materials continue, and the Government and partners are working to find alternative solutions to ease congestion. [more]