Nov 092013


MANILA, Philippines – The United Nations and its affiliated agencies deployed teams on Saturday to assist the Philippine government in assessing the damage wrought by Supertyphoon Yolanda and establish emergency communication lines as power and telephone lines remained down in much of the Visayas.

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said organizations including the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination, the Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Partnership, Télécoms Sans Frontière and MapAction arrived in the country on Saturday “to assist the government in establishing coordination hubs and conduct initial assessments.”

The UN said members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ Emergency Rapid Assessment Team “have deployed to support coordination and emergency telecommunication.”

Initial UN assessment showed that some 18 million people were affected and more than 126,000 people living on the path of the typhoon, particularly in Eastern Visayas, had been evacuated early on as a precaution.

It cited reports of flooding, landslides and wind damage in Eastern Samar and Leyte, the islands where the typhoon first came ashore early Friday morning.

UNOCHA said a needs assessment was under way “prioritizing shelter, food, health, water, sanitation and health facilities, camp management and logistics.”

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Tags: Communication lines , Damage , Disaster , international aid , UN , weather , Yolanda

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