Photo courtesy of ADRA Philippines

Southern Asia-Pacific

State of Calamity Declared in Samar; ADRA Philippines Gears Up for Response

Various Adventist organization partner together to aid those affected by severe flooding

Philippines | Edward Rodriguez, additional reporting from Shantell Leigh Villapez, ADRA Philippines

In the face of widespread flooding, both Northern Samar and Eastern Samar have declared an official state of calamity. The devastation's impact reverberates across the region, affecting an alarming 70 percent of the provinces' residents—equivalent to 74,500 families and a staggering 370,000 individuals spread across 24 towns, as reported by the Philippine News Agency.

Facing the calamity, local government units have set up evacuation centers to accommodate thousands of affected families. Residents from Jipapad, Arteche, Oras, Dolores, Can-avid, Maydolong, and Maslog have fled their homes, prioritizing safety amid the ongoing crisis.

The heavy rains have unleashed unprecedented massive flooding, triggering landslides and inundating vast areas. These challenging conditions have significantly hindered rescue operations and the timely distribution of essential aid to displaced families.

On November 17, 2023, a low-pressure area (LPA) entered the Philippines and caused heavy rain in Eastern Visayas and Caraga. Although the LPA weakened by November 19, a related weather feature, the shear line, continued to bring rain to parts of Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

By November 21, the shear line led to intense rain and flooding in Northern Samar, causing significant damage to homes, crops, and infrastructure.

In light of this disaster, the ADRA (Adventist Development and Relief Agency) Philippines Emergency Management Team is working closely with the ACS (Adventist Community Services) director of the Samar Mission (SM) and the Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) to provide assistance.

“ADRA Philippines is activating a scaled-up National Emergency Management Plan [NEMP] to respond to the needs of Northern Samar, which was declared in a state of calamity due to heavy rains and flooding resulting to damage to properties, agriculture, [and] lifeline and support services," said Hope Sarsaga-Aperocho, ADRA Philippines director. "With this, the ADRA Philippines Emergency Management Team is coordinating with the [SM] and the [CPUC] in responding to this disaster. We are praying for the people affected by this calamity in Northern Samar and also for the protection of our Emergency Response Team [ERT] as they address the needs of those affected by the flooding."

For more information about sending donations to help families displaced by this calamity, please visit adra.ph.


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

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