As the winds and rains begin to recede, the true extent of the damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is only just starting to come to light. More than 81 dead and dozens are missing. Thousands have been left homeless and acres of farmland submerged under water.
Typhoon Mangkhut, a grade 5 typhoon, lashed into the Philippines early morning on Saturday the 15th of September.
Over 1 million families have been affected by the Typhoon, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
According to the Department of Agriculture (DA), the estimated damage to agriculture nationwide is 14.3 billion Philippine Pesos which is equivalent to 364 million Australian Dollars.
An Islamic Relief team, has been on the ground assessing the damage in Cagayan and Cordillera Region. The team has reported isolated communities receiving the hardest hit. Poorly built homes crumbled in the face of winds raging 241-kilometres-per-hour.
Fears are especially high for those living in rural areas, as roads are still blocked due to landslides and flooding. It is estimated 193,000 people are staying in 1,900 evacuation centres.
Maryann Zamora, Islamic Relief’s rapid assessment team leader, says that many families feel helpless. They feel like they are in a never-ending cycle of devastation with typhoons in the region growing ever stronger.
“People have lost their homes, their crops and in extreme cases their loved ones. What makes it worse is that families here had only just started recovering from Typhoon Haima. Another Cat 5 storm, which wreaked havoc here two years ago – and now they are back to square one.
Farms they fought to bring back to life are once again devastated, their crops destroyed, their livelihoods and futures at risk. Everyone knows it is no longer a question of if, but simply when, they will be hit again.
This is the third time in ten years that I have had to come to the region of Cagayan in the wake of a disaster. The people here are no strangers to pain and they are extremely resilient. Every time they pick themselves up and start again. But as super storms become fiercer and more frequent, this just keeps getting harder and harder.”
Islamic Relief continues to assess the needs of families and extent of damage brought by Typhoon Mangkhut in close coordination with other aid agencies, the UN and the government. Local communities will require support in restarting agricultural activities.
Islamic Relief actively responds to Natural Disasters at the moments notice. You can take part in our ongoing Emergency Response by donating to our Emergency & Refugees Campaign.