Typhoon Hagupit moves across the Philippines as Red Cross helps those affected

Topics: Worldwide, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
December 08, 2014

Le personnel de la Croix-Rouge philippine sur le terrain se prépare à intervenir dans les régions dévastées par le typhon Hagupit.

Over the weekend of December 6-7, 2014, Typhoon Hagupit (Ruby) made landfall and lashed areas along the eastern coast of the Philippines with fierce winds and heavy rain. The storm dumped up to 395 mm of rain in some areas, destroying or damaging homes, roads and other infrastructure and disrupting communications.

Red Cross teams are helping in areas already hit and assessing damage as more areas are impacted. Philippine Red Cross (PRC) volunteers helped to evacuate almost one million people to safety and have been active in supporting shelters, including providing cooked meals.

The risk of further storm impacts such as flash flooding and landslides remain a concern as the storm was expected to continue a slow move across region over several days.

Kari Isomaa, Head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in the Philippines, said full assessments of the impact will be carried out in the coming days.

“We are in the early stages of assessing the damage but in Tacloban City, which bore the brunt of last year’s super typhoon, we know some families will need emergency shelter supplies to repair their homes,” he said. “Our main concern now is flooding. Hagupit’s slow progress across the country is extremely dangerous with landslides and flash-flooding a real possibility in the areas yet to be hit.”

The IFRC and PRC have emergency supplies including water cans, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and hygiene kits for up to 50,000 families. The PRC also has food packs – enough to feed a family for three days – for 25,000 families and has been providing hot meals for evacuees.

Typhoon Hagupit comes just over a year after Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013. Over 6,000 people lost their lives and hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed. 

Following Typhoon Haiyan, the Canadian Red Cross, with support from Government of Canada, deployed a mobile field hospital along with a team of trained aid workers, to provide critical life-saving care to those affected. In February 2014, the Canadian Red Cross handed over the field hospital which will allow the Philippine Red Cross to provide basic health care to a community of 30,000 people in a future emergency, and offered training to set the hospital up in an emergency.
As always, the Canadian Red Cross is ready to support disaster relief operations including fundraising.

At this point, a specific fund for Typhoon Hagupit relief operations has not been requested of us by the PRC however Canadians can donate online any time to our International Disaster Relief Fund.

Donations can also be made by calling 1-800-418-1111 or by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office.