On 4th December 2012, one of the most powerful cyclones Philippines have ever seen hit the southern
island of Mindanao. The tropical storm ‘Bopha’ caused strong winds of 220km/hr causing destruction of infrastructure, and agriculture – leading to a shortage of food, clean water and shelter.
An overwhelming number have been affected. 45,000 families (an estimated 213,500 people) are reeling from the devastation, with the cities of Cateel and Davao Oriental being victim. The people of the Philippines have lost their most personal possessions, news reports suggest the official death toll has risen to nearly 600 people and approximately 1000 people are still missing.
The hardest hit by this natural disaster are the poor, many of these victims have lost their homes and are staying in evacuation centres. Due to the intense flash flooding, heavy rains and landslides, the animal’s habitats and food sources have been destroyed, leaving both humans and animals in dire straits.
Some families are taking their animals with them to the evacuation centres, as community pets and livestock have to be kept close for the future wellbeing of both families and animals.
The Philippines Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) are currently responding to the situation in the worst hit regions of Cateel and Compostela Valley in Mindanao. WSPA has provided PAWS with the relevant training and is on stand-by to provide any additional support.