While Typhoon Ketsana ravaged the Philippines last week, dropping more than one month’s worth of rain in less than 12 hours, residents are now bracing for the impact of Typhoon Parma on Saturday. In the midst of widespread flooding that has killed hundreds of people, the American Red Cross and its sister Red Cross societies around the world are working to meet local needs.
The approaching storm compounds problems faced by local communities. Of the estimated 2.5 million people that were affected by the first storm, over 500,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes. Local evacuation centers are crowded and temporary shelter facilities are struggling to provide sanitary water for every resident.
“We are contributing at least $70,000 in relief supplies, such as blankets, tarps, and insecticide-treated bednets to prevent malaria” said Alex Mahoney, disaster manager for Asia for the American Red Cross. “An American Red Cross shelter specialist is also en route. As Typhoon Parma approaches, we are in touch with responders throughout the region and are ready to provide more support if needed.”
The American Red Cross supplies are pre-positioned in Kuala Lumpur, and will meet the needs of an estimated 5,000 families.
Flood victims wade through floodwaters brought on by Typhoon Ketsana, as they follow a military truck transporting relief goods to the evacuation center in Pateros, east of Manila.
Photo credit: REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco
Meanwhile, Philippine National Red Cross volunteers and staff have been active since before the typhoon, giving early warnings and evacuating residents. They have rescued 900 families to date and are pre-positioning supplies for the next storm.
Typhoon Parma could develop into a super typhoon by tomorrow with sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. This is more than twice as strong as Typhoon Ketsana, which put much of the capital city Manila underwater. Last week’s storm was the worst that Manila has faced in over forty years.
While flood waters have already receded in many areas, there has been a significant loss of life, property, agriculture and infrastructure.
You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. Donations to the International Response Fund can be sent to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.