On November 1, Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines with winds up to 195 mph-the strongest since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013-leaving 151 cities and towns without electricity and displacing hundreds of thousands of people. Current reports place the death toll at 20 people; with many affected communities still out of reach, damage could take days to assess. In response, International Medical Corps is launching efforts to address relief and recovery needs.
Typhoon Goni made landfall in Catanduanes, Albay and Quezon resulting in 20 deaths, 165 injured and three missing so far. In Catanduanes, the hardest-hit province, volcanic mudflows, flooding and winds damaged nearly 80% of homes. More than 400,000 people were initially displaced, with 361,000 people sheltering in just 2,287 crowded evacuation centers-exponentially increasing the potential for the further spread of COVID-19 due to overcrowding and limited sanitation and hygiene measures.
On November 4, the Philippine government requested assistance from humanitarian agencies to respond to destruction caused by the typhoon. International Medical Corps is launching efforts to address relief and recovery needs. Based on most urgent needs, we will address water, sanitation and hygiene needs, provide infection prevention and control materials to prevent the spread of disease, and provide health-related services to people affected by this devastating storm.
International Medical Corps was on the ground within 24 hours of 2013's Typhoon Haiyan, and continues to work in the country today, providing emergency relief disease prevention. Our teams have responded to Typhoons Haiyan, Koppu, Mangkhut, and Kammari. Overall, International Medical Corps' approach focuses on immediate care and a sustained impact through training and building back better. We will coordinate closely with governmental agencies and other partners to ensure sustainability.