Red Cross Chapters in the path of Typhoon Koppu race to mobilize emergency relief

تم النشر: 18 أكتوبر 2015 15:33 CET

By Patrick Fuller, IFRC and Philippine Red Cross

Typhoon Koppu (locally name ‘Lando’) made landfall this morning over Casiguran, in the Philippine Province of Aurora as an equivalent Category 3 cyclone. The typhoon remained almost stationary for more than four hours and at 16:00h local time it was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometres per hour (kph) near the centre and gusts of up to 185 kph.

Koppu is moving West-Northwest at a speed of 5 kph and this afternoon its eye was in the vicinity of Santa Fe, Nueva Vizcaya. It is now heading towards the Regions of Cordillera and Ilocos and although the threat of wind damages has reduced, the slow-moving nature of the typhoon means that it will linger over Luzon for more than three days, bring heavy to intense rains within a 600-kilometre diameter – which may trigger extensive flooding, flash floods and landslides.

At least 14,300 people had been pre-emptively evacuated and are being accommodated in 104 evacuation centres across five regions of Luzon. Philippine Red Cross continues to monitor the situation via its operations centre in Manila which functions 24/7. Red Cross chapters in Aurora, Isabela and other areas in Luzon have provided initial assistance such as hot meals, blankets and sleeping mats to affected families in evacuation centres; the Aurora chapter has served hot meals to over 1,000 people in Dilasag and is gearing up to provide hot meals to 3,000 individuals in Baler while the Pangasinan chapter has also been distributing relief.

The PRC headquarters has dispatched an emergency response team to Baler to assist the Aurora chapter and a rapid assessment team from the national headquarters is on standby for deployment tomorrow.  PRC chapters are supporting pre-emptive evacuations led by local government units and are serving hot, ready-to-eat, meals as well as providing welfare services to evacuees.

The Red Cross is also monitoring closely water levels of various river basins and dams to ensure that evacuations take place where the risks are highest. At the moment, PRC has readied 11 water search and rescue (WASAR) teams, equipped with rescue boats, and put 26 ambulances, three Humvees, one amphibious vehicle and three hot-meal trucks on standby to augment the ongoing response if needed.

"We already have prepositioned relief items in our chapters that are in Typhoon Koppu’s path, such as food packs and non-food items like plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, hygiene kits, clothing items, among others", said PRC chairman Richard Gordon. "All our chapters in Northern and Southern Luzon are on stand-by for possible deployment, including assessment teams, emergency response units (ERU), first aiders, health and welfare teams, and Red Cross 143 volunteers for local reporting and evacuation management," said Gordon.

PRC national headquarters is working in close coordination with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) which has teams on the ground and is supporting PRC with emergency relief stocks such as emergency shelters, jerry cans, sleeping mats, hygiene kits, and mosquito nets. Emergency relief stocks for 1,500 families have been dispatched to Cagayan, Isabela and Aurora.




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