Sponsored child Ronald, 11, receives an emergency food packet from Amelia, a parent volunteer leader who was assisting families after flooding in San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines.
Aug 14 2018

Disaster report

Intense rains caused severe flooding in and around Manila, Philippines, Aug. 10-12, impacting about 3,500 families served by Unbound in Metro Manila and the neighboring Rizal Province.

Local Unbound staff reported significant property damage and crop losses, and some homes were destroyed. At this time, the staff has reported one death, that of the mother of a sponsored girl. The child’s sponsor has been notified by our Sponsor Services team.

In times of natural disaster, Unbound contacts sponsors personally if we learn that their sponsored friends or immediate family members have been killed or seriously injured. Communications are often disrupted in the aftermath of such events, and it may take several days or longer to get pertinent information. Unbound serves more than 46,000 children, youth and elders in the Philippines.

Multiple landslides brought on by the intense rains made travel hazardous in Rizal. Malou Navio, coordinator of Unbound’s program in Antipolo, reported that one group on their way to an evacuation center was nearly caught in a landslide, but escaped uninjured.

Navio also said that groups of Unbound fathers who’ve been specially trained for disaster response have been mobilized in their communities. These “ERPAT” groups have become an invaluable part of local rescue efforts in the flood-prone Philippines.

Sponsored child Ronald, 11, receives an emergency food packet from Amelia, a parent volunteer leader who was assisting families after flooding in San Mateo, Rizal, Philippines.

Unbound staff members are also offering assistance. They’ve brought food supplies and other relief goods to evacuation centers. Some of them have also been affected by the floods.

“What adds struggle to people affected by flooding was the thick mud that goes with the floodwater and enters their homes,” said Unbound’s communication liaison in the Philippines, Tristan John Cabrera.

Lingering monsoon rains exacerbated by Tropical Storm Karding, known locally as Yagi, moved through the island of Luzon Aug. 11. Rivers in low-lying parts of the metropolitan area were quick to rise over their banks and into streets, homes and businesses.

According to Cabrera, large numbers of people in the Metro Manila area were stranded in their homes or unable to get back to them. They were reluctant to venture out because of the high risk of illnesses caused by contact with the fetid waters, but some had no choice.

“There are a lot of people stranded on sidewalks,” Cabrera said in a report Saturday. “Transportation is almost unavailable. So they just walk, trying to look for at least a tricycle or motorcycle that could bring them closer to their homes. I also observe some vehicles offering a ride for stranded people. … They don’t care if they get wet because of the rain just to reach their home right away and be with their families. I witness how people help one another during times like this.”

Because the island nation gets more than 20 severe storms a year, our programs there set aside some sponsorship funds for emergencies. The number of families affected by this emergency, however, will put a strain on those resources, and it’s likely additional funds will be needed to help families recover. The typhoon season lasts until November, though severe storms also occur at other times of the year.

What you can do

  • Donate to Disaster Response. Unbound’s Disaster Response fund provides assistance to families in the aftermath of events like the flooding in the Philippines.
  • Make sure your contact information is up to date. In times of natural disaster, Unbound notifies sponsors personally if we learn that their sponsored friends have been injured, so keeping your information up to date is important.
  • Pray. The Unbound community holds all those affected and those assisting with emergency response efforts in our thoughts and prayers.
  • Check here for updates. We’ll continue to provides updates as we receive additional information following this emergency and other storms.

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