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Red Cross efforts continue as third typhoon bears down on Philippines

21 October 2009
For further information please contact

Mark South

Contact number tel: +44 (0)207 877 7042 / email: MSouth@redcross.org.uk / out of hours 07659 145 095


• Red Cross continue relief following typhoons Parma and Ketsana
• Preparations ongoing for Typhoon Lupit, forecast to hit already devastated areas on Thursday
• Third typhoon strike will further increase needs of affected communities
• To donate visit www.redcross.org.uk/asiapacific

People in the Philippines are bracing themselves for more misery as Typhoon Lupit threatens to batter already storm ravaged areas and dump yet more water on the flooded north of the country.

Forecast to make landfall tomorrow (22/10/09), Lupit will be the country’s third typhoon in less than a month.

The storm is expected to strike already heavily flooded areas, struggling to recover from Typhoon Parma, which hovered over the country for a week dropping 70cm of rain.

“We are all hoping Lupit won’t be as bad as forecast, but at the moment it has winds of over 100 miles-an-hour and it is heading our way,” said Catherin Martin, a Philippines Red Cross (PNRC) disaster response coordinator.

“The danger is that it is expected to hit areas already affected by the previous typhoon. Many areas are already flooded and this will bring even more water.”
Last week assessments suggested it could take up to a month for Parma’s storm waters to drain away.

Rain from Lupit will only extend this, increasing damage to crops in an area known as the Philippines’ fruit basket.

Along with flooding there is also concern for people whose homes were destroyed or damaged by Parma and whose current shelters may not stand up to the anticipated winds.

“Red Cross community volunteers have been have been telling people that the typhoon is coming and that they should evacuate or stay way from dangerous low-lying areas,” said Martin.

“We have pre-positioned relief items so they will already be in areas where they are likely to be needed, and our search and rescue teams equipped with boats are also on standby.”    

The coming storm threatens to be another in a string of emergencies which have affected the Asia-Pacific region, claiming hundreds of lives, making hundreds-of-thousands homeless and affecting millions.

The Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Samoa Red Cross societies, with support from the International Red Cross Movement, continue to be at the forefront of relief efforts, delivering aid to hundreds of thousands across the affected regions.  

The British Red Cross Asia Pacific Appeal has been able to support the affected countries with volunteers, staff, relief items such as blankets, jerry cans and tarpaulins, and cash.

“The task is to ensure we get aid to those who need it and help them to begin to rebuild their lives,“ said Fiona Davidson, British Red Cross disaster management officer. 


“We anticipate Lupit will significantly increase needs in the Philippines, and the ongoing operations elsewhere in the region continue to need our support. These disasters have been on a massive scale. The response from the public has already been remarkable, but more is needed and every single donation makes a difference.”  

To donate go to www.redcross.org.uk/asiapacific

or call 0845 054 7201

ENDS

Note to editors:

Red Cross staff available to speak from the Philippines
Contact Mark South on 020 7877 7042
Red Cross Actions
Philippines:

Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) volunteers and staff continue to distribute relief, provide water and sanitation services, and health care, and provide early warning for communities threatened by Typhoon Lupit.

Philippines Red Cross (PNRC) has distributed food items to 41,664 families (approx 200,000 people), and non-food items, including hygiene kits to 11,482 families (approx 60,000 people).

International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) relief for 50,000 people has been flown in from the Federation regional logistics unit warehouse in Malaysia, consisting of stocks provided by the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, German Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross and Netherlands Red Cross.

The IFRC has increased its initial appeal to £4.1m to support the Philippine National Red Cross in providing assistance to 40,000 families (200,000 people) in the disaster-affected areas over the next 12 months. Work will include the distribution of emergency relief items, water and sanitation services, health and medical care as well as longer-term recovery and disaster risk reduction programmes. The appeal will be reviewed again to include further needs following Typhoon Lupit.

The British Red Cross has allocated £100,000 from its appeal funds to provide emergency shelter for those who have lost their homes and is also delivering 1,500 hygiene kits and over 1,100 kitchen sets to those in need.
Images – 14 assets.


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Indonesia:
An Emergency Response team has been deployed to Padang in Indonesia from the UK, consisting of logistics experts who are helping with the delivery of aid to those in need. The team is helping coordinate both the delivery of aid into the country and also its distribution to affected people, to make sure this happens as quickly and effectively as possible. 

In Indonesia, funds going to the Red Cross will be used to support the Indonesia Red Cross operations for earthquake survivors, including the immediate distribution of relief items, temporary shelter, water and sanitation services, health and medical care and logistics support.

The British Red Cross is delivering stock worth £378,950 from its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur  including 1,500 Jerry Cans, 1,500 Mosquito nets, 3,000 tarpaulins, 4,500 shelter kits including a further 9,000 tarpaulins and 10,00 thermal blankets.

The International Federation of the Red Cross has launched an appeal for £11.6m million to support 20,000 families (100,000 people) over six months.

Images – 55 assets, including aerial views of landslides in Tandikat:


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Vietnam:
The British Red Cross has given £75,000 to help support the relief effort.

In Quang Binh, one of the worst affected provinces, the Red Cross distributed 750,000 bags of noodles plus drinking water and household kits.

The Red Cross has also deployed water, sanitation and relief teams to the area. A water treatment unit has been mobilised; and a focus on rice, noodles and food distribution is being observed.

With the support of the Red Cross Movement, the Vietnam Red Cross (VNRC) staff and volunteers are seeking to provide food and relief items, water, sanitation services and health and care and shelter for 210,000 people over the next 12 months.

Images – 25 assets, new photos are expected between this afternoon and tomorrow:


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Samoa:
Samoa Red Cross staff and volunteers are helping provide psychosocial support, helping people to cope with the disaster.

Distributing 1,000 hygiene kits with sanitary products, toothbrushes, soap, laundry powder; and toolkits with bush knives, hammers, nails, shovels. These are to help people build emergency latrines, make their shelters more secure, and help them continue agricultural work.

Health delegate and SRC counterparts continue to monitor, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and other partners, for any outbreaks of diarrhoea.

Images - 48 assets, including evacuation photos, photos taken before the tsunami, portraits :


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British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.


We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
www.redcross.org.uk

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