8 November 2013
As Typhoon Haiyan continues to cut a swathe of destruction across the Philippines, the British Red Cross has launched an appeal for funds to help the relief effort.
Up to 15 million people stand in the typhoon’s path and the Red Cross is concerned about the number of lives and livelihoods at risk across the archipelago. Widespread torrential rain, damaging winds and high tidal surges could potentially trigger life-threatening flash floods, as well as mudslides on higher ground.
The Red Cross is particularly concerned for those affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month on the island of Bohol. Around 376,000 people were displaced by the earthquake and 150 people were killed. When Typhoon Haiyan hit, around 270,000 people on the island were still living in makeshift shelters or under tarpaulins.
Nichola Jones, British Red Cross delegate in Bohol, said: “The humanitarian impact of Haiyan threatens to be colossal.
"Thousands of people are likely to be left without food, shelter and water – this is a double blow for the survivors of the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu, who were already battling to recover from the devastation caused. Our volunteers are already reporting significant damages, but a clearer picture will only emerge once the storm subsides”.
Typhoon Haiyan is reported to be the most powerful storm to make landfall since records began. Winds of over 190mph have battered the islands and the storm is expected to remain at super typhoon intensity throughout the next 24 hours.
Haiyan follows a raft of natural disasters to hit the Philippines this year – including several typhoons and significant levels of flooding, in addition to the Bohol earthquake. The Philippines Red Cross has been working closely with local disaster authorities to support pre-emptive evacuations, with some 125,000 families being moved to safety shelters.
Specialised teams from the Philippines Red Cross and emergency support personnel from the British Red Cross are currently on standby in the region, and will be deployed to the hardest hit areas as soon as safety conditions allow.
The British Red Cross has already contributed more than £100,000 to the relief effort from its Disaster Fund. The emergency appeal will initially help provide hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and access to safe water.
Donate to the Typhoon Haiyan Appeal