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Tens of thousands of families affected by Typhoon Phanfone

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Typhoon damage in Tacloban City. Photo: Oxfam/Leah Payud

Oxfam is assessing the damage and talking to survivors in the most affected coastal communities.

On Christmas Eve, Typhoon Phanfone struck the islands of the Philippines. Tens of thousands of families have been affected in mostly coastal communities with limited access to resources and basic services. The government has reported almost 30 deaths.

Here’s what you need to know about the typhoon’s impact and Oxfam’s response.

Who was affected by Typhoon Phanfone and how bad is it?

Over 24 hours, the storm made landfall seven times across groups of islands in Visayas and Mindanao—knocking out mobile service, power lines, uprooting trees, and damaging critical infrastructure, including schools and markets.

As of December 27, the government reports:

  • A total of 185,168 individuals or 44,792 families were affected.
  • A total of 28 deaths and 12 missing individuals have been reported.
  • Initial reports listed a total of 2,073 damaged houses in Western and Eastern Visayas.

Typhoon Phanfone is the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines this year. The storm has devastated parts of the country dependent on farming and fishing. Boats, fishing equipment, and coastal ecosystems including corals and mangroves have been destroyed, negatively affecting the food security and livelihoods of many fisherfolk. Many are still struggling to get back on their feet after Typhoon Kammuri, which hit earlier this month.

In a media interview, Vice Governor Carlo Loreto of the island of Leyte confirmed an initial assessment of 15 percent damage to crops and infrastructure.

How is Oxfam responding to Typhoon Phanfone?

Oxfam and our local partners are prioritizing assessments in coastal communities where the storm made landfall. These communities are “highly at risk” because they live in areas of high hazard exposure that are prone to storm surges and frequently affected by disasters.

Typhoon damage in Marabut, Samar. Photo: Oxfam/Leah Payud

Initial results show that affected communities need clean water, food, and shelter.

  • According to our local partner People's Disaster Risk Reduction Network (PDRRN), early assessments by staff and volunteers indicate coastal villages urgently need emergency shelter materials, beddings, potable water, and food.
  • Dengue continues to be a major threat in the region, and potable water is needed since water refilling stations cannot operate because of the ongoing power blackout.
  • Water kits and disinfectants are crucial to prevent water-born diseases since sources of water have been contaminated.

Oxfam is working with our local partners to provide cash assistance to three coastal villages heavily impacted by the typhoon.

What can I do to help?

Oxfam and our local partners will support survivors of Typhoon Phanfone beyond the first few days of the emergency response. It is likely that affected communities will need cash and livelihood assistance in the long term.

Donate to support Oxfam’s work around the world and stay tuned for more updates.

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