Filippinerne: Tyfonen kom igen forbi, men det gik helt anderledes

Forfatter billede

For godt et år siden kostedede tyfonen Haiyan over 6.000 omkomne i det udsatte fjernøstlige ø-rige, dennegang kom den tropiske storm Hagupit forbi og høstede kun ca. 30 dødsofre – Hvorfor? Nøgleordet er katastrofebredskab i tide. 

MANILA, 8 December 2014 (IRIN): On the second full day of operations responding to what entered the Philippines as Typhoon Hagupit – since downgraded to a tropical storm – national officials say disaster coordination has improved since last year’s Super Typhoon Haiyan. 

Tacloban, the city that bore the bulk of the estimated 6,000-plus fatalities 13 months ago, has reported no casualties thus far. 

“We evacuated sooner this year. People need longer than one to two days to evacuate,” Tacloban’s mayor Alfred Romualdez told IRIN, admitting he broke rules to suspend classes before the storm had even entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility.

“People need three to four days to evacuate. You cannot force evacuation. Before they can think about evacuating, they need to borrow money from their employer. Then it takes at least one day to return home to provinces”, added he. 

More than one million people were transferred to 3,640 evacuation centres, as reported by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on 8 December. Eight of the country’s 17 administration regions were affected. 

In Tacloban, some 50,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, almost all of whom were already displaced from last year’s Typhoon Haiyan. Romualdez estimated at most 6,000 newly displaced. Almost all have returned to their residences. 

Military reenforcements four days before the storm struck

Rather than waiting until damage assessments were in to request additional military presence, Romualdez requested military reinforcements four days before the typhoon hit, allowing the city to prepare relief goods and “custom-fit” disaster risk reduction to Tacloban’s needs, he said. 

When the typhoon made landfall in the central Philippines on the evening of 6 December, hitting first the town of Dolores, on Eastern Samar (250 km from Tacloban), its winds reached up to 195 km/hour, causing heavy rains, flooding and landslides. 

NDRRMC has confirmed two deaths from the disaster, while local media and the Philippine Red Cross are reporting 21 deaths, including 16 deaths by drowning as flood waters rose in Borongan, the main town in Eastern Samar. 

Do not bypass national government 

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