Typhoon Phanfone made landfall in Eastern Samar of the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines at 4:45 p.m. local time Tuesday, December 24. A Category 2 typhoon, Phanfone ultimately affected more than 2.1 million people and displaced more than 145,000. Heavy rains and strong winds damaged some 406,000 homes and 30 health facilities, and brought flooding and power outages that continue today in more remote and rural areas.
International Medical Corps’ team is assessing needs in the most affected areas, including Western and Eastern Samar, Leyte and Biliran of the Eastern Visayas, as well as other affected areas. We are preparing to address gaps in water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as to provide relief supplies for those in need. Given the high levels of malnutrition in the affected areas, International Medical Corps also is preparing to provide nutrition care, and may also provide health and mental health care services to address acute and chronic conditions.
Though weaker, Typhoon Phanfone followed a similar path as Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013—the country’s deadliest storm on record—which left more than 6,000 people dead. Following landfall of Haiyan, International Medical Corps was on the ground within 24 hours. We continue to work in the country today providing disaster relief and building disaster preparedness.