-- Members of the International Rescue Committee arrived in the municipality Daram, Philippines, today to assess damage left in the wake of Typhoon Hagupit.
Many feared the worst for the island community's 41,000 residents, nearly all living in coastal villages vulnerable to winds and storm surge. What they found was minimal damage brought by the storm and life slowly returning to normal. Residents were cleaning up and burning debris.
Mayor Lucia Astorga, who accompanied the IRC, said he believes that preparation was the reason why Daram suffered no casualties, missing or injured. Evacuation began days in advance of the storm, with every single resident temporarily sheltering in local schools and buildings.
Over the next few days the IRC will be providing immediate aid and assessing damage, group officials said. The group, in conjunction with local partners, is planning to assist the community with its rebuilding process and in preparing for future disasters.