accessibility & help

UK responds to British Red Cross appeal to help millions affected by Asia Pacific Disasters

2 October 2009
For further information please contact
Penny Sims
Telephone: +44 207 877 7044, email:, out of hours: 07659 145 095

• British Red Cross emergency response team on way to Padang, Indonesia
• British Red Cross appeal raises quarter of a million in 24 hours
• New ‘super typhoon’ set to hit Philippines tonight
• To donate go to or 0845 054 7201

As the Philippines braces itself for an approaching ‘super typhoon’, people in the UK have shown overwhelming support by donating £250,000 in just 24 hours to a British Red Cross Appeal to help those devastated by multiple disasters in the Asia Pacific region.

A digital plea emailed to Red Cross supporters saw them donate £3,500 within minutes of it being issued and average online donations are over £30.
Generous corporate donations have also been received from Tesco, Vodafone and Bloomberg.

Mark Astarita, British Red Cross director of fundraising said:
“These figures show that despite a recession in the UK, the British public can still dig deep when it’s really needed. They understand how desperate the situation is across the Asia Pacific region and want to do what they can to help. Red Cross emergency relief teams are on the ground but more supplies are desperately needed and thousands of people have yet to be reached with basic aid.”

The British Red Cross are sending an emergency response team to Padang, to help get emergency supplies out to the thousands of people who have been affected by the earthquake. 2.5 tonnes of medical supplies have been sent to Padang today.

In the Philippines, the Red Cross have responded to warnings that a ‘super typhoon’ is set to cause further devastation across coastal regions. Typhoon Parma is currently a category 5 typhoon, registering wind speeds of 145mph.

Heikki Vaatamoinen, a Finnish Red Cross aid worker based in the Philippines, said:
“The typhoon is predicted to the north east corner of the country. The response mechanism here is very strong, when the forecast for Typhoon Parma was heard, volunteers began to mobilise and any volunteers who had evacuated are returning to the area to help evacuate the public and prepare for the typhoon.”

In the Philippines, millions of people have been affected and 600,000 are now homeless. The Red Cross has opened 130 evacuation centres and more than 75,000 survivors are receiving safe shelter, hot meals and blankets. However, as coastal regions are evacuated over the course of today, resources will be seriously stretched, and more help is desperately needed now.

In Indonesia, over a 1000 people are reported dead in the Sumatran island capital of Padang, but potentially this number could increase to thousands. The Indonesian Red Cross have deployed teams to the area to conduct evacuations and assessments and 2.5 tonnes of medical supplies have been sent to Padang today.

Emergency appeal

Money raised by the British Red Cross Asia Pacific Disasters Appeal will help address the immediate needs of the hundreds of thousands of people affected in the region.

To donate go to or 0845 054 7201


For further information please contact:

Penny Sims 020 7877 7044 or out of hours pager 07659 145 095

Note to editors:

Typhoon Ketsana

Volunteers have been carrying out search and rescue operations and have saved more than 400 people from rooftops and high walls during severe flooding. They are also distributing relief items and comforting traumatised families, as well as giving first aid to the sick and injured.

In Vietnam, Red Cross volunteers helped evacuate more than 160,000 people before Typhoon Ketsana hit. They are also providing 1,600 household kits, including mosquito nets, blankets, water containers and kitchen sets to people affected by the typhoon.

The Red Cross has also deployed emergency assessment teams to find out the needs of people affected by flooding as a result of Typhoon Ketsana moving through Cambodia and Laos.

Samoan islands tsunami

The Samoa Red Cross has released £197,000 from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund to respond to the tsunami. It has established five camps on higher ground where it is evacuating people as aftershocks continue.

A team from the Australian and New Zealand Red Cross has been deployed to assess the needs for shelter, water and sanitation and psycho-social support.

Indonesia earthquake

Initial reports suggest 1000 people have died in the Sumatran island capital of Padang, but potentially this number could increase to thousands. The Indonesian Red Cross have deployed teams to the area to conduct evacuations and assessments.

The Red Cross has also deployed a disaster management specialist to Indonesia to assess the needs of those affected by the earthquake.

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.