Photo: ADRA Philippines

ADRA

ADRA Responds to Families Affected by Massive Flooding and Landslides in South Philippines

Various Adventist organizations work together to bring relief to those suffering from the aftermath

Philippines | Edward Rodriguez, SSD Communication Department

Relentless landslides and flooding have wreaked havoc in Davao (aka Region XI) and Caraga (aka Region XIII), Philippines, as an unrelenting monsoon, combined with a low-pressure system in Mindanao, continues to disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in these vulnerable communities.

As per reports from local government units, the calamity has ravaged extensive agricultural land and caused significant damage to crucial infrastructure, leading to the displacement of civilians residing in the affected areas.

In response to the region's severe damage, the province of Davao has declared a state of calamity. The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) of the Philippines has reported significant devastation, including 36 damaged houses, with 11 of them partially destroyed and 25 completely wrecked. Unfortunately, this disaster has resulted in five fatalities and seven reported injuries in Region XI. Additionally, some areas in Davao are still grappling with ongoing flash floods, while several roads remain impassable and certain bridges have collapsed.

ADRA Philippines

ADRA Philippines

A total of 27,841 families, comprising 103,757 individuals, have been adversely affected across 171 barangays in Regions XI and XIII. Out of these, 14,548 families (54,073 individuals) have been displaced. Of the displaced population, 7,101 families (26,442 individuals) have found temporary refuge in 137 evacuation centers, while 7,447 families (27,631 individuals) are currently staying with relatives or friends.

In partnership with the Northern Davao Mission (NDM) and Adventist Community Services (ACS), ADRA Philippines conducted a rapid needs assessment and initiated an initial response to aid 950 families in selected barangays within the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental. These beneficiaries had been severely affected by flooding and landslides, resulting in total or partial damage to their homes. This response was made possible through ADRA's scaled-up National Emergency Management Program (NEMP) implementation, in collaboration with its local partner mission.

"Twenty-nine municipalities spread across three provinces in the NDM territory have suffered damage as a result of the recent natural disaster. The catastrophe brought about by flooding, landslides, collapsed bridges, and extensive damage to farmers' crops has resulted in financial losses amounting to millions of dollars. The relentless heavy rainfall over several days caused water levels to rise to alarming heights, leading to the closure of crucial national highways," said Seth Suan, president of the Northern Davao Mission, underscoring the pressing urgency of providing food as the immediate need of the affected population.

ADRA Philippines

ADRA Philippines

"Adventist communities, despite being lightly affected themselves, have come together to raise funds. The NDM Crisis Committee leadership, along with field pastors, have worked tirelessly to allocate resources to the severely impacted areas. However, it's important to note that the current assistance, while valuable, falls short of meeting the pressing needs of those in distress. We are eagerly awaiting the support of ADRA Philippines to bolster our relief efforts," Suan added.

ADRA Philippines is actively coordinating a network response to address the pressing needs of communities affected by the shear line and trough of the Low-Pressure Area (LPA). The ADRA Emergency Response Team (ERT) has been collaborating with local NDM ACS members to consolidate relevant data and information for the network proposal once it becomes available. Continuous coordination with local authorities and other humanitarian organizations is ongoing to gather more information about the situation.

ADRA Philippines

ADRA Philippines

ADRA Philippines has been in communication with ADRA International to explore the possibility of mobilizing funds for recovery efforts or network responses. Additionally, efforts are being made to engage the local mission of NDM and the Southeastern Philippine Union Mission (SEPUM) to contribute additional funds to support the network response.

The Northern Davao region is home to a vibrant Adventist community, boasting over 70,000 dedicated members who gather for worship across more than 200 churches. In light of the recent natural calamity, the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) extends a heartfelt invitation to everyone to join in offering prayers for the families impacted by this disaster.

"In times of adversity, we find solace in the unwavering belief that God stands beside us, empowering us to conquer the fiercest storms. As a united church, we come together in fervent prayer," remarked Roger Caderma, SSD president.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.

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