Oxfam readies emergency supplies and teams are set to determine the scale of damage.
Downgraded to a category 3 storm, the much-dreaded Typhoon Hagupit has now made landfall, lashing the coastline of Eastern Samar in the Philippines and beginning its drenching crawl toward Manila, the country’s capital.
Coordinating closely with the government, Oxfam has rapid assessment teams on standby across the country and is readying emergency supplies including kits to ensure people have access to safe drinking water and can meet their needs for basic sanitation—both essential for saving lives in the aftermath of a disaster.
“The storm weakened in intensity as it approached the coast, but there are still concerns for the safety of people in the disaster zone, especially those still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan,” said Justin Morgan, Oxfam’s country director in the Philippines. “Our rapid assessment teams will be surveying the scale of the damage and responding to immediate needs at first light.”
The Philippine weather service, PAGASA, predicts the typhoon will move west/northwest across the country at about 15 kilometers per hour, weakening as it goes but dumping torrential rain and raising the threat of flashfloods and landslides. The most severe part of the storm is expected to pass north of Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province that was so badly damaged last year during Typhoon Haiyan. With winds up to 195 miles per hour and a massive storm surge, the most powerful typhoon ever to make landfall shredded the city, leaving an estimated 200,000 residents homeless in Tacloban alone. Across the central region of the archipelago, Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people and forced 4 million others from their homes.
Yesterday Oxfam worked with local authorities to install water storage systems in evacuation centers in Tacloban and assist with the evacuation of people and goods in Ormoc. Now, our number one priority will be determining the impact of Hagupit and which areas have been hit hardest so we can offer emergency assistance to those who need it most.
With your help, we can rush life-saving aid to families in need and, when the worst is over, help them get back on their feet. Donate to the Typhoon Hagupit Relief and Recovery Fund now.