20 August 2012
Still reeling from Saola - the typhoon that struck at the end of July, killing 50 - the people of the Philippines are once more bearing the brunt of extreme weather. This time heavy monsoon rains battered the country causing widespread flooding, flash floods and landslides.
To date, over four million people have been affected, with close to a million people forced out of their homes.
At the last count, over 3,000 homes had been completely destroyed. While nearly 50,000 families take refuge in evacuations centres across the area, around 800,000 people are staying with friends and family.
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Photo gallery: floods devastate Manila
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The torrential rains that began in the evening of 6 August 2012 submerged many parts of Luzon Island and devastated most of its cities and provinces - particularly Metro Manila and Pampanga.
There was little respite. For two and half days it rained; flood waters rose, homes were destroyed and lives ultimately lost. At the last count 109 people have been killed.
Reaching remote communities
'Reaching these remote, often inaccessible places will become increasingly difficult because of the damage to roads and bridges.'
Christian Aid country manager Ted Bonpin said: 'Fisherfolk along the rivers, lakes and coasts have lost everything. It's devastating.
'We're also extremely worried for the indigenous communities in upland areas who are now cut off and vulnerable to landslides.
'Reaching these remote, often inaccessible places will become increasingly difficult because of the damage to roads and bridges, but doing so remains a priority.'
The lives of people living in poor urban areas have been turned upside down too. Having been evacuated, communities are worried they will be unable to return if the government deems the land uninhabitable.
Christian Aid responded immediately and we have released £105,000 to support the work of partner organisations.
Having initially helped with the evacuation process by supplying rescue boats and life jackets, our partners are now providing basic food, medicines and blankets to people in evacuation centres.
It is estimated that this work will reach over 6,200 families.
Disaster risk reduction
Given the size of the disaster, the recent work of a number of Christian Aid partners in helping prepare communities for the emergencies like these is thought to have contributed to the relatively low number of fatalities.
Eric Gutierrez, Christian Aid policy adviser, said: 'The results of past disaster risk reduction work were very apparent in these floods.
'There were plenty of rescue teams, showing that the country was better prepared this time.
'There were also evacuation centres, which means they anticipated the problems and made sure dry and safe places were ready and stocked up with clean water and basic food stuff, unlike before.'
Eyewitness: 'the water was following us'
Belen De Guzmann, who volunteers with Christian Aid partner the Centre for Disaster Preparedness, described her ordeal:
'It felt like the water was following us. I was thinking that we’d have nowhere to go; that we’d get trapped inside our homes. The water was rising very fast.'
Audio: Emma in Manila
Christian Aid press officer Emma Wigley provides us with a first-hand account from Manila.