A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake jolted Central Visayas in the Philippines on Tuesday morning, and triggered landslides which engulfed homes and damaged public infrastructures and historic churches. More than three million of the country’s nation have been affected across the three provinces of Bohol, Cebu and Siguijor, with nearly 600,000 displaced. Many are living in makeshift tents and evacuation centres, terrorised by the frequent aftershocks and afraid to return to their homes.

  

Collapsed buildings killed local residents, smashed cars and blocked roads.

Responding to an appeal for assistance by Philippine’s Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC) on Friday evening, Singapore humanitarian NGO, Mercy Relief (MR), deployed its assessment personnel the following morning, followed by its relief team to Bohol. More than two-third of the 190 fatalities occurred there. The 5-man MR team is deploying its PedalPure, the manual-powered ultra-filtration water systems, at the areas where clean water supplies are affected due to contamination or power cuts caused by the quake.  The team also procured food supplies from less-affected areas in Bohol and garnered local volunteers to help repack and sort for distribution.

 

The PedalPure manual-powered water filtration systems arrived in Tagbilaran, Bohol.

  

MR staff worked alongside local volunteers who stepped forward to help sort and repack food supplies bound for remote affected areas.

Speaking from the ground, MR’s chief Hassan Ahmad shared, “The search and rescue operations may be over, but the aftershocks and basic survival needs of the community still persist. The priority now is to reach the remote affected communities to provide the much-needed clean water and food”.

* MR has been implementing relief and development projects in five areas across the Philippines – Bicol Region, Metro Manila, Mindanao, Zambales and Visayas – continuously since 2006 as part of its disaster risk reduction efforts in line with the Hyogo Framework and AADMER. Click here to read more on “MR in the Philippines”.

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance. 

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org