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Typhoon Washi hits the Philippines

A tropical storm hit the island of Mindanao in the Philippines over the weekend, causing flash floods that have left over 900 people dead and close to 90,000 residents displaced from their homes.

At the height of Typhoon Washi, more than 12 hours of continuous heavy rain was experienced in Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City, which caused the river to swell, sending muddy floodwaters cascading down from nearby mountains.

The disaster area, located about 800km from the capital Manila, is normally bypassed by the typhoons that ravage other parts of the Philippines each year. As a result, many residents were ill-prepared for the wrath of Washi and many were sleeping when the floods hit.

ChildFund Philippines has deployed its emergency response team from the region to conduct a rapid needs assessment. Currently, there are no reports of casualties or missing families from ChildFund-supported communities, although some homes were damaged.

The government of the Philippines is providing support through its military and ChildFund is working closely with the Department of Social Welfare and Development to distribute food items and water. Child-centred spaces will also be set up to provide psychosocial support for children.

“It is devastating to hear of the loss of life and livelihoods this latest typhoon has caused,” says ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence. “We remain in close contact with our team in the Philippines and stand ready to provide assistance where needed.”

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