World Vision ready to respond as typhoon Rosita threatens Ompong-hit communities

More than a month after typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) devastated Northern Luzon, survivors brace for another typhoon Rosita (international name Yutu), which is due to hit land on Tuesday, October 30.

“I’m worried about my children, especially for my 3-year old. They’ve been through a lot this year. I am more afraid now because we already lost our house,” shares 45-year old Benita from Alcala, Cagayan. Her family is currently living in a small makeshift house and fears that a typhoon as strong as Ompong would again render her children homeless.

Typhoon Mangkhut damaged the house of Benita’s family. Her eldest children aged 18 and 20 worked together to build a makeshift house using salvaged materials from the typhoon. Even this house is likely to be blown down by the coming typhoon Rosita.

After Ompong, Benita’s children have to skip classes more frequently than before. Aware of their mother’s situation, they would scour harvested corn fields to look for leftover corns. Even 3-year old Aira would go with them as she doesn’t want to be separated from her mom.

State weather bureau PAGASA’s update as of October 28 said that the typhoon has slightly intensified, packing a maximum sustained wind of 200 kilometers per hour (km/h) with gust of up to 245 km/h. It is moving at 20km/h with a diameter of 800 kilometers. Initial forecast showed that Rosita will make landfall in Cagayan-Isabela area but as of 5PM local time, the typhoon has changed its course and could possibly hit land in Isabela-Aurora areas. PAGASA warned communities to not be complacent as it is expected to bring heavy rains and very strong winds.

“Our thoughts are with the families who are still reeling from Ompong. World Vision is especially concerned about the safety of children who are still in makeshift houses and whose well-being are further put at risk should typhoon Rosita worsen the impact of the previous disaster,” said World Vision’s executive director Rommel Fuerte.

World Vision has an on-going emergency response and has now reached around 18,000 individuals through provision of emergency essentials, setting up of child-friendly spaces and support to shelter and livelihood. The organization also supports more than 1500 children in Isabela province, through its development programs.

“Our response team is still on the ground and on standby to complement government’s efforts to support the children and their families. Our commitment is to provide relief assistance to as many survivors as we can the fastest time possible. For now, let’s pray that typhoon Rosita will not cause further harm to the communities along its trail,” adds Fuerte.

Typhoon Ompong, which struck last September 15, has affected more than 3.8 million people and damaged 300,000 houses, according to the social welfare department’s Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC). It also decimated farmlands, leaving P26.8B (USD535M) worth of damage in agriculture.

Written by Joy Maluyo, World Vision October 29, 2018

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