World Bulletin/News Desk
Thousands of survivors of deadly storms that have struck the Philippines in the past three years are to meet at the epicenter of the most recent to demand assistance, a local relief organization said Wednesday.
Around 2,000 survivors of powerful storms that hit the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao in 2011 and 2012 will join those affected by Typhoon Yolanda, which devastated Leyte island on Nov. 8 last year.
They will converge on the government district in Tacloban City, Leyte, to express their anger at the government’s failure to live up to promises of assistance to disaster victims.
The three tropical cyclones – Yolanda, Typhoon Pablo in 2012 and 2011’s Tropical Storm Sendong – killed more than 8,300 people in the country and displaced tens of thousands.
In Iligan City, northern Mindanao, around 1,000 victims of Sendong have not been provided with adequate shelter, Jonathan Bonocan, liaison officer for disaster relief NGO Kadamay Mindanao, told reporters Wednesday.
He said that more than 100 people in nearby Cagayan De Oro City were still listed as missing and relief programs for survivors have failed.
Bonocan said: “We are confident that the two-day survivors’ conference in Tacloban City will yield positive results. We also hope that the government will take proactive actions on the issues and concerns that the participants might resolve during the conference.”
On Tuesday, a convoy from Mindanao began the 640-kilometer (400 mile) journey to Tacloban City, which was hit hardest when Yolanda struck the central Philippines last year.
Nearly a year after Yolanda, Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman acknowledged that much work remained to be done.
She said the government had made significant steps to rectify the damage caused by the tropical storms that regularly ravage the Philippines.
In an interview with the Philippine Information Agency, a government body, Soliman said national and local governments, the private sector and NGOs “continue to join hands to meet the challenge of building back better communities by sharing human and financial resources.”
Comparing the Philippines to Haiti, where she said thousands of people are living in tents four years after an earthquake struck, Soliman added: “To date, there is just one evacuation center in Tacloban City
serving 48 families.
“By year-end, none of the remaining survivors in all Yolanda-hit areas will be staying in tents and makeshift [accommodation].”
Typhoons and tropical storms are types of cyclones classified by wind speed. Typhoons have a sustained wind speed of 119 km per hour (74 mph) or greater while tropical storms rotate at 63 to 118 kph (39 to 73 mph).Last Mod: 05 Kasım 2014, 14:51