Philippines: Indigenous communities hit by Typhoon Yolanda
Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the Central Philippines and caused a lot of damages to the lives, livelihood and properties of the Filipino people. Among the affected are the indigenous peoples in the Islands of Panay, Mindoro and Palawan. At least 50 indigenous communities of Tumandok, Ati, Hanunuo, Buhid, Bangon, Alangan and Tagbanua were directly affected by the typhoon. Houses were destroyed by the strong winds and falling trees, and other houses and communities were flooded.
In Tapaz, about 80 - 100 % of the houses have been destroyed. The indigenous peoples’ crops and farms were also devastated. Some barangays are impassable because of landslides and debris blocking the roads. There are islands in the province of Palawan which are isolated from the town center and sources of food supplies because all their boats were destroyed. Initial data gathered shows that at least 9,000 IP families are in need of immediate assistance. The poor socio-economic conditions of the indigenous peoples made these communities most vulnerable, and the impact of typhoon Yolanda puts them in a most difficult situation.