An Israeli medical team was set to leave for the Philippines on Thursday night, to aid the victims of Typhoon Ketsana. On September 26 the storm devastated the country, leaving an estimated 300 people dead, hundreds of thousands homeless and about 2.5 million people affected as a result. The Israel Forum for International Humanitarian Aid (IsraAID), which is currently coordinating the Israeli assistance, will hold meetings with the local Red Cross, the UN and international aid agencies upon arrival at the coordination center for the relief efforts. On Friday a team of six Israeli doctors, nurses and paramedics from the organization F.I.R.S.T. (an IsraAID partner) will begin working within the Laguna and Marikina districts, areas that in recent days have seen a rise of food- and water-borne diseases such as leptospirosis, dengue and diarrhea, due to the six-meter-high flooding. Both districts, located in the vicinity of Manila, have suffered a major part of the aftereffects of the disaster. On the morning of October 2, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declared the whole country under a state of calamity. Typhoon Ketsana brought heavy rains which caused severe flooding in Manila, the Cordillera region and 25 provinces on the northern island of Luzon. With a 45 cm. rainfall in 24 hours, Manila and the surrounding region have experienced 1.8-meter-high flood waters, which have disabled the city's health and electrical infrastructure. The IsraAID relief mission is a joint Israeli-Jewish collaboration with partners such as the American Jewish Committee, B'nai B'rith International, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto and the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles.