Sendong Relief
Water and relief goods being distributed to evacuees in West City Central School in Barangay Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. Photo by Jb R. Deveza - newsinfo.inquirer.net

MANILA — Due to the devastation caused by tropical storm “Sendong” in Mindanao, some victims are suffering from mental health problems, it was reported.

Authorities listed 22 people who were reported to have lost their sanity in the wake of the disaster.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director and Office of Civil Defense (OCD) Administrator Benito Ramos said he was closely monitoring the mental health of displaced residents, especially those still staying in evacuation centers

He said the mental health of the victims was one of the major concerns of personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of Health (DoH) who were still deployed in the areas hard hit by the typhoon.

Based on NDRRMC data, massive flooding caused by “Sendong” displaced 120,233 families or 1,141,252 people, mostly in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

Of the total number of affected population, 5,709 families or 25,370 people are still in 53 evacuation centers.

Ramos said some of the 22 “Sendong” victims manifesting severe depression are those whose loved ones were swept away by the floods and were still missing.

He said that there is one case in which the survivor would just sit and stare blankly or is incoherent when was being interviewed.
“Just imagine how some of them lost their entire family. Meron mag-isa na lang siya naiwan, kaya tulala ngayon,” Ramos said.

The need for medical treatment of the victims of Sendong was further highlighted when one of the survivors housed in an evacuation center committed suicide apparently due to severe depression. (Manila Bulletin)