Sunday, February 10, 2013

“Building back worse” after Philippines typhoon

IRIN: More than two months after Typhoon Bopha hit the eastern coast of Mindanao Province in the southern Philippines some 198,000 families are still trying to repair their homes, even in the midst of daily monsoon rains.

“There is a sense that natural disasters hit, and that’s it,” said Tom Bamforth, the coordinator of aid groups working on housing after Typhoon Bopha, known locally as Pablo, struck on 4 December, displacing close to one million residents. “But the problem is,” Bamforth continued, “it has been two months of constant rains. This is still an ongoing disaster.”

Entire small towns, known locally as `barangays’, were submerged following flooding on 19 January which affected almost 40,000 people in Davao city (the country’s second largest) as well as the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, which were both affected earlier by the Category 5 typhoon (winds that reach 250km/hour).

“We have never had something like this in our lifetimes,” said Sustenio Sulag, the elected leader of Panansalan in Compostela Valley, 150km north of Davao city. All 215 family homes were partially or completely destroyed by the typhoon in December.

Typhoon Bopha/Pablo was the sixteenth to hit the archipelago in 2012, but the deadliest worldwide that year, claiming, thus far, close to 1,100 lives.

...The government’s Mines and Geosciences Bureau is conducting geohazard risk assessments in affected provinces, colour coding sites to indicate high, medium or low risk to flooding and landslides. The government is interpreting high-risk areas as “no-build” zones, said DSWD’s housing focal point for typhoon-affected areas, Elena Labrador. “The government will not tolerate people living in no-build zones,” she told IRIN....

Homes destroyed by Typhoon Bopha in Cateel, Davao, shot by Sonny Day, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

No comments: