Massive flooding in the Philippines is hindering the efforts of people to rebuild their lives in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, says UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid.
Tropical Depression Agaton has brought heavy rain and fierce winds, causing widespread flooding and landfalls which are affecting more than 900,000 people across southern and central parts of the island chain.
Many were already living in temporary shelters and struggling to earn a living following Haiyan, which displaced 4.1 million and left over 6,000 dead in November.
The storm hit Eastern Samar on Friday evening (17 January 2014), before moving south to Mindanao, where floods and landslides have affected 111,000 people in Butuan City alone, with 15,000 seeking shelter in evacuation centres.
The death toll across the region has reached 49, with some 800 houses destroyed and roads and bridges rendered impassable. Many farmers have also lost recently planted rice crops, leaving them without a secure yield for next year, and numerous banana plantations have been destroyed.
Agaton is the latest in a large number of storms to strike the Philippines, following Typhoon Haiyan, Typhoon Bopha in 2012 and Tropical Storm Washi in 2011. The Philippines – the most storm hit country in the world – experiences approximately 20 typhoons every year, threatening the homes and jobs of millions of people.
Local organisations MUCAARD, Minland and Samdhana are in the affected areas assessing the immediate needs of affected communities.
Christian Aid’s Head of Humanitarian programmes, Adrian Ouvry commented: "Sadly, this is the stark reality faced by the people of the Philippines. More lives lost or devastated by extreme weather.
"The task of rebuilding following emergencies like Typhoon Haiyan and Typhoon Bopha takes years. For poor and marginalised communities trying to piece back their lives, events like Agaton make this task incredibly difficult.
"However, the courage and resolve of Filipinos in the face of a seemingly unending torrent of extreme weather is incredible", he said.