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Typhoon Hagupit heading towards Philippines

4 December 2014

Volunteers are handing out noodles, bread and sacks of rice to families affected by Haiyan

Another typhoon is on a collision course with the Philippines just over a year after Typhoon Haiyan tore through the country, killing thousands and leaving millions homeless.

Forecasters warn that Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, has gained strength in the western Pacific and is projected to intensify as it heads towards the Philippines. If the storm makes landfall, it will pose a serious threat to lives, homes and livelihoods – as well as seriously impeding recovery efforts in areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan last year, including Panay, Cebu, Leyte, Central Luzon and Mindanao.

Measures being taken by the Red Cross include: 

  • Philippine Red Cross (PRC) disaster response teams are on standby and volunteers have been activated to support evacuations in high-risk areas. Additional staff and volunteers across all areas are on high alert.
  • Relief items such as food supplies, sleeping mats and hygiene kits are being packed. Emergency equipment including water trucks, generators, chainsaws and communications gear are ready for use in Leyte, Samar and Cebu. Extra staff have been deployed to Tacloban.
  • In the Philippines, the IFRC has pre-positioned supplies for up to 30,000 families in Manila, Cebu and Subic, including blankets, sleeping mats, bed sheets, jerry cans and mosquito nets.
  • The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Philippines is ready to respond to the worst-case scenario. Technical staff with expertise ranging from relief to recovery are available to support PRC teams if needed.

Over the past year, thousands have received help from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to help rebuild their homes and livelihoods. Preparing communities to withstand future natural disasters is also a major part of the long term recovery plan in the Philippines, an already vulnerable area prone to typhoons and extreme weather.

British Red Cross and IFRC spokespeople are available for interview – please contact Catherine Bates on 0207 877 7557 / 07834 527 105.

In London:

  • Ben Webster, head of emergencies, British Red Cross
  • Joy Singhal, Philippines country manager, British Red Cross
  • Ted Tuthill, head of MENA and West and Central Asia, British Red Cross
  • Stephen Cox, disaster management co-ordinator, British Red Cross

In the Philippines:

  • Nichola Jones, emergency communications delegate, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

More information on the Philippine Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan recovery programme is available at http://philippineredcross.github.io/haiyan-one-year/ including:

  • B-roll footage from relief and recovery activity
  • Case studies

  • High res photo galleries from across affected islands

  • Facts and figures from the operation

Ends

 

The 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.

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