In the Wake of Nalgae

The Philippines’ latest storm leaves behind damage and difficulties

November 03, 2022 | Be Informed

Torrential rains continued to cause flooding and landslides in the Central and Southern Philippines following Tropical Storm Nalgae. Information continues to come in, but it’s been verified that hundreds of families in the Unbound program have been affected, according to Tristan John Cabrera, Unbound’s regional reporter in the Philippines.

“[There are] no reported casualties, no reported persons missing and no severely injured individuals among our Unbound [programs] in the Philippines, but there are many homes that have been damaged and agricultural land that has been destroyed,” Cabrera said. “Power interruptions are happening because of strong wind and rain.”

torrential rains follow the storm


Nalgae, (known locally as Tropical Storm Paeng) entered the Philippines from the east on Oct. 28. After carving a path through the southern and central portions of the island of Luzon, it moved on to the South China Sea and toward the Chinese mainland the following day. According to Reuters, as of Nov. 1, 110 deaths and multiple injuries have been reported by Filipino officials, with 33 people still missing.

The monsoonal rains left behind by Nalgae continue to impact most of the archipelago. Many families in the Unbound program in the Philippines live in poorly constructed homes made of light materials that make them especially susceptible to flooding.

One

Unbound staff make their way through the flooded streets of Zamboanga City toward an evacuation center to check on the welfare of families in the program. Families are also being housed and fed in the Unbound Zamboanga program’s coordinating center.

Reports from around the country


There are nearly 43,000 children, youth and elders in the Unbound sponsorship program in the Philippines, served by five program centers located throughout the country. This is what we’ve heard from the different areas to date:

  • • In the Zamboanga program area, located on the southern island of Mindanao, flooding is affecting low-lying areas, including some Unbound communities. Unbound staff checked on families in evacuation centers and provided them with food and other supplies.

  • • The Legazpi program area in the southeastern part of the island of Luzon was only about 100 miles from where Nalgae first made landfall. Families worked to fortify their homes in anticipation of high winds.

  • • In the Manila program area, where Reuters reported up to 11 inches of rain in some locations, rice farmers are experiencing major losses. Unbound staff are now working with them to assess the damage.

  • • The Quezon program area closed their offices before the storm struck and asked staff to continue monitoring the situation with families in the program and attend to their needs.

  • • More than 300 families in Unbound’s Antipolo program, located in the Rizal Province east of Manila, have reported damage following Nalgae. Most sustained damage to their homes, with some losing crops and livestock.

 

In the photo on the left, Lanie, the mother of sponsored child Joaquin, stands in their flooded home in Manila surveying their decimated rice field, shown in the photo on the right. Loss of their rice crop will have a major impact on the family’s income. Unbound Manila program staff are now working to help them recover.

Unbound dads prepare to help


The “ERPAT” fathers (the acronym stands for “Empowerment and Reaffirmation of Paternal Abilities”) are a group of dads of sponsored children in the Antipolo program. The men continuously train to assist with emergency rescues during times of flooding. They immediately mobilized in preparation for Tropical Storm Nalgae.

“These fathers of sponsored members are trained in doing this kind of activity, including risk reduction and disaster management in any area within their region that needs their help,” Cabrera said. “Together with the workers of Unbound’s Antipolo team, they are vigilant and in a full alert system in this kind of situation.”

Unbound teams continue to assess the damage sustained by families in the program. At this time, they are using funds set aside locally to help the families recover. Should the damage prove to be greater than local emergency reserves can handle, Unbound’s Critical Needs Fund is available for additional support. To learn more about the Critical Needs Fund and how Unbound helps families recover following a disaster, read our recent story, Weathering the Storm.

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Patrocinio, the father of sponsored child Faith, secures their home to prepare for Tropical Storm Nalgae. The family lives in a town served by Unbound’s Legazpi program.

what you can do


In times of natural disaster, Unbound notifies sponsors personally if we learn that their sponsored friends have been injured or otherwise seriously impacted. For that reason, keeping your contact information current is important.

Finally, we encourage the greater Unbound community to hold in prayer all those impacted by Tropical Storm Nalgae and other catastrophic events. Join us in solidarity as we continue to support these families struggling to rise from hardship.

These fathers of sponsored members are trained in doing this kind of activity, including risk reduction and disaster management in any area within their region that needs their help. Together with the workers of Unbound’s Antipolo team, they are vigilant and in a full alert system in this kind of situation.

— Tristan John Cabrera, Unbound regional reporter


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