Situation Update – Typhoon Mirinae
The third major storm to hit the Philippines in the last five weeks, Typhoon Mirinae, made landfall at around midnight on Friday, October 30, over Quezon Province in Region IV-A. Over 115,000 people were evacuated in provinces to the east and south of Manila, relief supplies and rescue equipment were pre-positioned along the typhoon path, and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) teams were in place to assist Local Government Units with disaster operations. At its height, winds reached up to 150 kph, with gusts of up to 185 kph and heavy rainfall. An estimated 80% of the 26 barangays in Santa Cruz were flooded, and there were landslides in the municipalities of Liliw and Nagcarlan in Laguna Province, as well as widespread power cuts. As of today, the number of people affected is estimated at over 54,600.
In Region IV-A, the Bridge of Promise along the Batangas–Lobo road was severely damaged and remains impassable, the Colongcolong Bridge along the Palico–Balayan road is also closed, and the Matingain Bridge is passable to light vehicles only. The Banay–Mojon road was left blocked by fallen trees. There have been no reports of significant damage in Region V. An assessment mission took place yesterday (November 1) to Santa Cruz with representatives of the Logistics Cluster, WFP, UNICEF, IOM, OCHA and ADRA. The full results will be published tomorrow.
Now that Typhoon Mirinae has passed, the NDCC has begun scaling down its activities, and agency representatives are being returned to their normal duties. However the NDCC will remain operational in its current location at the Civil Defence Operations Center.
Over the last week, helicopter operations have focused heavily on southern Luzon in the regions cut off by Tropical Storm Ketsana. Rotations have been taking place out of Camp Capinpin in Rizal, with the “Jungle Fighter” army troops helping to load the aircraft. Representatives of DSWD and the Philippino Red Cross have been assisting with distributions on the ground. Deliveries have also been ongoing to San Gabriel in northern Luzon to ensure supplies of food and NFI. The helicopters performed a high number of rotations on Friday, October 30, to preposition cargo before Typhoon Mirinae. The aircraft were then taken to Clark Airbase to overnight in a covered hangar. Flights began again today, Monday 2, with rotations to Liliw, which was left inaccessible by Typhoon Mirinae. The NDCC is organizing trucks to replenish the cargo at Camp Capinpin for airlift. As laid out in the project document, the helicopters will operate for one month, with the last missions to be flown on the 14th of November. The aircraft will then be redeployed. As of Sunday, November 1, 136.9 mt of food and 6.3 mt of NFI have been delivered by helicopter over 161 rotations.
Support to the government to provide additional surface transport is ongoing, and on Sunday, on request from the DSWD, the Logistics Cluster organized reception for 98 mt of goods flown in from Saudi Arabia and arranged seven vehicles to deliver it to the National Relief Operations Center (NROC). Despite expectations, operations were not substantially slowed for the All Saints long weekend. The Logistics Cluster is currently in discussion to extend LET (UPS-Agility-TNT) support, which to date has included trucks, warehouse staff and a logistics coordinator. Currently, this is contracted to end on November 10.
In order to transport relief goods to assist affected populations, a government-led convoy of over 100 trucks was organized. The “Sama Samang Pagtulong Relief Caravan” was supported by several government agencies including the DSWD and the DoH (Department of Health), alongside over 30 international and private organizations, among them the Logistics Cluster, which provided five trucks for Camp Capinpin, the World Food Program, and the United States Agency for International Development. Following a delay because the planned departure date was expected to coincide with the arrival of Typhoon Lupit, the caravan made its departure at 6:00 a.m. sharp on October 29 to carry food, drinking water, medical kits, mosquito nets, hygiene kits, water purifiers, mats, blankets and clothing to southern Luzon, fanning out to reach locations throughout Region IV-A and down to Region V. The goods were destined to provide assistance to those affected by Typhoon Ketsana in the Laguna de Bay region, as well as to pre-position supplies prior to the arrival of Typhoon Mirinae on October 30. President Arroyo led the send-off ceremony for the caravan at its departure point in Pasay City, alongside the head of the Department of National Defense, Secretary Teodoro.