Land still under water in Manila four weeks after typhoon Ketsana

by Heidi Nicklin/sha, 2009/10/23

Almost four weeks after typhoon „Ketsana“, the damage and consequences caused by the storm are still evident. The extent of the disaster is massive: Many people have been affected by it, since the Philippine capital, Manila, is very densely populated, especially the lower situated eastern quarters of the city.

In large parts of the city, the water had been up to the roofs. In some areas, it had flowed off quickly, yet left a thick layer of smelling mud, mixed in part with oil and petrol leaked from overturned cars. The heaps of waste resulting from the clean-up operations are temporarily being stored on a makeshift dump, these amounts of waste exceeding the capacities of the city.

Mud in the streets of Manila. Foto: humedica

In the quarters of TayTay, Cainta and Pasig, large areas are still under water. After four weeks, many people still live together on little space in evacuation centres set up in schools and sports halls. Wherever possible, people live in their own homes. The structural damage caused to the simply constructed houses due to the long time under water is almost unimaginable. Estimations by the local administration say that about 1,28 Mio of people are living in the submerged areas.

With the help of army-trucks and the active support of the local administration, the humedica medical team works in the areas that have been affected most severely. In doing so, we are continuously supported by our partner organization, Scandinavian Children´s Mission, who accompany us with some of their staff.

Makeshift shelters like these have become part of the everyday life of many people. Foto:humedica

During their work, our team also diagnosed leptospirosis in some patients, a rare disease that may be fatal if it is not treated. By October 21st 2009, 1.963 cases of leptospirosis had been reported to the Philippine health authorities by hospitals, among which 148 had ended fatally. Health authorities estimate that 1,7 Mio people live with a high risk of infection. Estimations by the WHO say that up to 3.800 persons might get infected.

It is amazing how happy many people seem, in spite of all the suffering – everyone smiles at us. Today we are in TayTay in a church building which was made available to us to set up our makeshift “surgery”. Tomorrow we will treat patients in an evacuation centre in the nearby district of Cainta.

humedica would like to ask friends and sponsors for concrete support in the form of a donation:

      humedica e. V.
      Reference "Flood Aid Philippines"
      Account 47 47
      Bank code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

or donate online via the following Link. Thank you very much for any kind of support.

Some roads are still submerged. Foto: humedica

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