Tuesday 29 September 2009
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telephone: +44 (0)207 877 7524, email: AGeorge@redcross.org.uk / out of office hours pager 07659 145 095
The British Red Cross has today launched an urgent appeal for the hundreds of thousands affected in the Philippines and Viet Nam by devastating Typhoon Ketsana that hit on 26 September. Flooding and heavy rains wreaked havoc across the region, affecting hundreds of thousands and destroying homes and livelihoods.
Money raised from the Philippines Floods Appeal will help to address the immediate needs of the 1.8 million people affected. £50,000 from the British Red Cross’s own Disaster Fund has already been released as part of an initial response to the devastation.
The Red Cross has been working across the region since the storm began, mobilising thousands of community-based volunteers to help the 600,000 people displaced in the Philippines. The typhoon today moved west hitting Viet Nam and forced 167,000 people to evacuate their homes.
In the Philippines, the Red Cross has opened 130 evacuation centres and volunteers have saved more than 400 people from rooftops and high walls during severe flooding. Thousands of survivors are receiving safe shelter, hot meals and blankets. Assessments of damage throughout Manila and other areas in the Philippines are underway, with additional humanitarian assistance being provided to those displaced from their homes.
Recent heavy rains have also had a severe impact in Viet Nam. The Red Cross has undertaken disaster preparedness programmes in vulnerable communities and thousands of Viet Namese Red Cross volunteers helped evacuate more than 160,000 people before Typhoon Ketsana hit today.
Mike Goodhand, head of disaster management at the British Red Cross said: “This is clearly a major disaster that is rapidly escalating with continued bad weather with hundreds of thousands made homeless in Philippines and well over two hundred dead from the last estimates. There is also grave concern about the impact of the typhoon on Viet Nam after it hit this afternoon.
“The British Red Cross will be doing all it can to monitor the situation as it develops and to continue to support the relief effort to make sure those affected by Typhoon Ketsana receive the help they desperately need.”
To donate to the British Red Cross Philippines Floods Appeal go to www.redcross.org.uk/flood or call 0845 054 7201
Donations can also be made by post to:
Philippines Floods Appeal
British Red Cross
Notes to editors
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.
In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK. For more information visit redcross.org.uk. The Philippines Flood Appeal will cover past, present and near future flooding events in numerous countries, including those currently affected and those potentially affected in the future.