18 August 2017, Geneva, Switzerland - On 23 May 2017 an armed conflict broke out in Marawi, Lanao del Sur in the Philippines between non-state armed groups affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Philippine government security forces. The conflict has displaced nearly 360,000 people from Marawi City and surrounding municipalities. According to local news sources, nearly 700 combatants and 119 civilians have died as a result of the fighting.
On 21 June 2017, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) requested that UNOSAT conduct a damage assessment of the city for response planning purposes, and notably to rebuild and rehabilitate damaged structures once the fighting ceased. A first update on damage levels was sent the next day after OCHA had reached out to us. UNOSAT publicly released the final map update on 11 August 2017.
Our analysis determined that, as of 26 July, 217 areas covering over 45 hectares had suffered damages, mainly in the eastern portion of the city. This represents a sharp increase of over 110 per cent versus our previous analysis dated 20 June 2017.
The final map was used by state and local government officials involved in the national response to plan the transition toward reconstruction and rehabilitation (see photos). Zoomed-in maps of areas that suffered very heavy damage will also be shared shortly. It is expected that this data will reach the national and regional government, humanitarian partners, and those affected by the conflict given the urgent reconstruction needs.
Photo 1: Response planners discuss the map produced by UNOSAT, photo by Tristan Arao, OCHA Philippines
Photo 2: A slide of the map was featured during the national response workshop where public officials planned the transition, photo by Tristan Arao, OCHA Philippines