Floodwaters continue to overwhelm cities, towns and villages including Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh, and Luzon in the Philippines.
Cambodia has been seriously affected with the death toll from nationwide flooding climbing to 247 over the weekend. More than 190,000 hectares of rice fields have been inundated with floodwaters and lengthy sections of banks along the Mekong River are under stress.
Many more people are in danger from outbreaks of malaria and other diseases and weak riverbanks threaten to collapse.
“We are doing what we can but a great deal more has to be done to reduce the impact of this disaster,” Caritas Australia Group Leader, South-East Asia, Lindsay Daines said.
“There are a great many people living along these rivers and they face greatest danger right now.”
Caritas Cambodia has been in the affected region since Nesat hit on September 27.
They have supplied more than 7000 families with assistance including food and kitchen items, clean water, medical assistance and immediate livelihood restoration through agricultural development and livelihood activities. Caritas Cambodia will also provide psycho-social care for the severely affected.
In the Philippines 91 people were reported killed and around four million impacted by Nesat. Authorities are warning of possible water-borne disease outbreaks which forced thousands from their homes and resulted in at least 18 deaths.
More than 171,000 people across 22 provinces were directly affected by Nesat on September 27. It was the 16th cyclone to have hit the archipelago nation this year and considered one of the strongest, with a 650km radius rain band.
The day after the cyclone many areas of Luzon Island, the country’s most populated area, remained without power and cut off from emergency services by landslides, floods and debris that littered many highways.
More than 47,000 families remained in 153 evacuation camps, mostly sports stadiums and schools whose sanitation facilities are not equipped to handle a large influx of people.
“One of the most devastated areas is Bulacan province, where Caritas Malolos has been responding.”
“The loss which both these nations have experienced is tragic and we need to bear in mind this could be a protracted emergency and recovery response with lasting ramifications,” Mr Daines said.
Thailand has also been affected by flooding. Caritas Thailand is mounting a response.
For more information and to assist please go to: www.caritas.org.au or ph: 1800 024 413.
Media contact: Ryan Heffernan 0408 869 833