UMCOR Responds to Typhoon Nesat
September 28, 2011—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), through its Philippines field office, is assessing damages to communities in the Philippines impacted by Typhoon Nesat, which roared through the island of Luzon, where the capital, Manila, is located, earlier this week.
In a message to UMCOR headquarters, Ciony Ayo-Eduarte, manager of UMCOR Philippines, said, “I have been receiving requests [for relief aid] from different parts of the country…, also, many people are coming to volunteer.”
Nesat, a category-3 typhoon, blew through the Philippines late Tuesday night, September 27, with center winds of up to 80 miles per hour. Some 100,000 people in flood- and landslide-prone areas were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm, and this morning, 48,000 remained in emergency shelters.
“Typhoon Nesat was the most powerful tropical cyclone to directly impact the Philippines so far in the 2011 Pacific typhoon season,” Ayo-Eduarte reported. “It brought both water and strong winds that caused flooding, storm surge, and devastation to houses and crops.”
At least 21 people died in disaster, but dozens more remain missing. Damages to crops were estimated at about $16 million and to infrastructure at about $1.7 million, according to news sources.
UMCOR opened an office in the town of Cavite, just outside Manila, in 2009. “We wanted to help the Philippines Central Conference prepare for disasters such as this one and also to offer agile support for that response,” said Melissa Crutchfield, UMCOR International Disaster Response executive.
Ayo-Eduarte will begin her assessment trip tomorrow, Thursday, departing from the UMCOR office in Cavite. Cavite itself was hard hit by the typhoon, with some 450 families affected there.