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Caritas responds to Cyclone Tembin devastation

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Damage by Cyclone Tembin in Lanao del Norte province. PHOTO: NASSACaritas

Caritas Australia is contributing $50,000 to support the people of the southern Philippines affected by Cyclone Tembin 17, which struck on Christmas Eve, killing at least 180 people.

Caritas staff working on the ground in the Philippines responded quickly with emergency assistance in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone which is referred to locally as Typhoon Vinta. Most of the impact occurred in the Caraga municipality, about 254 km from Davao city.

“The efforts of Caritas Philippines and other partners in pre-positioning essential relief materials and evacuation centres have prevented the potential for further loss of life,” said Richard Forsythe, Caritas Australia’s Senior Programs Coordinator for Emergencies.

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The cyclone caused flooding and landslides which resulted in deaths, as well as damage to homes and livelihoods. Cyclone Temblin followed swiftly on the heels of Tropical Depression Kai-Tak which caused landfall over central Philippines on 16 December.

“I thank you for coming here to check on my rice mill, I thank you with infinite gratitude,” Mr Umpia M. Dura, a resident of Lanao del Sur in the Southern Philippines, told Caritas workers.

According to Caritas, food, water and clothing are the priority for those affected by the cyclone. The Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported that more than 280 thousand families were impacted by the disaster.

Food packages have already been provided to 500 families, with many more expected to need assistance once the needs assessments have taken place in the affected areas.

-Daniel Nour, Caritas Australia

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