As residents in the flood-weary Philippines continue to recover from two recent typhoons, another storm heads for the northern Luzon region. Typhoon Lupit is expected to make landfall as a category 1 or 2 storm on Thursday with wind speeds in excess of 110 mph.
Red Cross volunteers drive through flooded streets in Manila, Philippines on their way to distribute relief aid to people affected by the torrential rains from Typhoon Ketsana.
“Thousands of people are still living in evacuation centers, mostly schools, or living on the second floor of their homes as the first floor is still under water,” says Cristina Hammond, American Red Cross disaster specialist in the Philippines.
The Philippines Red Cross staff and volunteers who have been preparing for and responding to typhoons for four weeks are pre-positioning more relief supplies and putting specially trained search and rescue teams with rubber boats on standby prior to the typhoon’s landfall.
The Red Cross operations center in Manila is working hand-in-hand with weather forecasters and running around the clock to plan before the storm.
“Operations center staff are discussing how best to prepare and how to send reinforcements to help local staff and volunteers who are exhausted and that might also be affected by the storm,” adds Hammond.
Within the last month, two other storms have hit the Philippines. Typhoons Ketsana and Parma caused severe flooding and landslides, affecting 6.3 million people and killing 773.
The American Red Cross has sent two disasters specialists and committed $900,000 to the Philippines to assist with the ongoing relief operation, including $100,000 of relief supplies such as kitchen kits, blankets, jerry cans for collecting clean water and mosquito nets and a $500,000 grant from the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance.
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.