Red Cross responds to Typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines

July 17, 2014

The global Red Cross network is responding with help and support in the Philippines after Typhoon Rammasun stripped roofs, uprooted trees, and caused flash floods and mudslides as it tracking across some of the most populous areas of the country earlier this week.

Rammasun picked up speed once it struck the Philippines eastern seaboard on Tuesday, becoming a category 3 storm with winds of up to 125 per hour. Across the country 530,000 people were evacuated from their homes prior to the arrival of the typhoon. Authorities in the Visayan city of Tacloban, badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan last November, evacuated some 27,000 people.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies pre-positioned supplies of non-food relief items and hygiene kits for 20,000 families, as well as 10,000 tarpaulins in Tacloban.

An estimated 1 million people were affected as the typhoon passed through Bicol, Quezon, parts of the Visayas and the main island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, before sweeping out to sea towards China and Northern Viet Nam. According to government estimates, 7,000 homes were destroyed and a further 20,000 were damaged. Philippine Red Cross response teams were on high alert well before the typhoon arrived, with equipment including rescue trucks, amphibious vehicles and rubber boats readied for deployment. The Red Cross provided thousands of hot meals, food packs and non-food items to affected people in several provinces, while its emergency response teams helped in rescue efforts.

Once the storm passed, the Red Cross began conducting assessments in the worst affected regions. The focus now is on clearing debris left behind by the storm and providing water containers and non-food relief items. Water tankers have also been sent to areas without safe drinking water. The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers to help in distribution efforts in densely populated coastal municipalities such as Taguig in Metro Manila, that are still without power and clean water.

“We’ve had positive feedback from our chapters that our disaster risk reduction training may have had a substantial effect on mitigating Rammasun’s impact. However, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed,” she Gwen Pang, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross.

The Philippines were hit in November by Typhoon Haiyan, and the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts from that typhoon such as partnering with the German and Spanish Red Cross societies to make homes in the affected areas more storm resistant, provide access to clean water and sanitation facilities, provide cash grants to help people with their recovery and rebuilding efforts and prepare communities for future disasters.


Disaster Update: Typhoon Neoguri

July 9, 2014

Okinawa Red Cross

 

As Typhoon Neoguri approached, the Okinawa Chapter of the Japan Red Cross prepared for its landfall. This included loading trucks with blankets and emergency kits (consisting of portable radios, flashlights, towels, and health information leaflets) for distribution in case of need. They also made warning calls or home visits to nearly 70 elderly households in the main city of Naha.


Disaster Update: Balkans

May 27, 2014
The worst floods in over a century continue to put people at risk in Serbia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.  Landslides and unearthed landmines make the situation even more dangerous for residents and rescuers.
 
The waters have forced thousands of people out of their homes, swamped large swathes of farmland, and destroyed crops.
 
Red Cross teams are actively engaged in rescue and relief efforts. To help, you can donate via our ’cause donation’ form    

Disaster Alert: Red Cross Assists with Relief Efforts in the Balkans

May 19, 2014

Although the water has receded in some areas, the worst floods in more than a century continue to create havoc in large parts of both Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While thousands are still waiting to be rescued from their homes, tens of thousands have been evacuated and are staying with families or in shelter. In Serbia an estimated 300,000 are without safe water or electricity. In Bosnia and Herzegovina the figure is 50,000. Many are living in unsafe and insanitary conditions created by the floods.

Almost one third of Bosnia is affected by floods with houses, roads and railway lines being submerged in the north eastern part of the country. A vast number of landslides have worsened the situation and relief efforts, and there are reports that landmines buried during the conflict have shifted with the landslides, making the situation more dangerous for residents and rescuers.

In Serbia, the worst affected area is around the town of Obrenovac, south west of Belgrade, where around 10,000 people are still stranded. While water levels in some rivers are receding, the river Sava and two other rivers are still rising, forecast to reach their peak during Sunday night or later, so the danger is far from over.

The Red Cross societies of both countries have been actively engaged in rescue and relief activities, helping set up centers for those evacuated.

The Red Cross of Serbia has specially trained teams – as well as thousands of staff and volunteers – assisting with continued evacuations and providing relief items.

The Red Cross Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina have mobilized teams in the affected areas, who are assisting authorities with evacuations as well as providing blankets, mattresses, drinking water, food and hygiene kits, rubber boots and water purifiers to more than 10,000 people. These figures are expected to rise.

In Brcko, one of the worst affected areas, Red Cross volunteers are helping to move sandbags along the River Sava to prevent it from flooding dozens of villages which are still in danger.

Many volunteers and their families in both countries are themselves affected by the floods.

The American Red Cross is closely monitoring the situation but has not been asked for additional assistance at this time.  


Weekly Disaster Update

May 16, 2014

Fires in Southern California:

In response to the multiple fires in San Diego County, American Red Cross disaster workers are continuing shelter operations at Mission Hills High School as a shelter site (1 Mission Hills Ct., San Marcos 92069). The Temporary Evacuation Point at Escondido High School (1535 N Broadway, Escondido, CA 92026) is now being transitioned into a shelter. The shelter at La Costa Canyon High School located at 1 Maverick Way in Carlsbad also remains open. All shelters will remain open until there is no longer a need.

Since Tuesday, May 13, the Red Cross has provided approximately:
- 3,400 meals
- More 2,000 snacks
- More than 275 overnight shelter stays, and expected to increase this evening
- More than a dozen canteen operations, supporting various Temporary
Evacuation Points, as well as providing snacks and hydration to first responders
at several Incident Command Posts.

For more information about this incident please visit the San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter’s Website


Story: Flooding in Florida

May 2, 2014

PENSACOLA, FL May 2, 2014 — Over the past week, storms have left a wide swath of damage, devastation and despair from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast and across the Mid-Atlantic. The Red Cross has been there every day to help. Here in Northwest Florida, many families who sought a dry, safe place when floodwaters rose, went to a Red Cross shelter.

Alaina Reed was awakened by her mother at 3 a.m. who was standing next to her bed in inch-deep water. Reed saw that her first-floor Forrest Creek apartment in Pensacola had rapidly rising murky water. Reed woke up her two children, six year-old Ayden and two year-old Lianna. The Reed family spent the next five hours sitting in the dark on the arms an back of their sofa until the sun came up. Then looking out the windows, Reed saw rescue teams bringing boats to the apartments. “The rescue workers carried the kids and our suitcase to the boats and then we were taken on a bus to the Red Cross shelter,” said Reed.

“The water came fast. And it rose high,” said long-time resident Calvin Grace, holding his hand some 4-feet above the
floor. Fortunately he was able to evacuate without a problem – except for the fact that he lost everything beyond for the
clothes he was wearing.

Another Forrest Creek resident, Jamerius Bush, awoke her family of five to take them to their upstairs neighbor when she discovered water rising in her apartment. When she left to go to a Red Cross shelter, she saw her new furniture that was delivered three days earlier, floating in her apartment.

In the days ahead, the Red Cross will also be working with local community partners to provide additional services to help families get back on their feet and begin to recover.


Disaster Update: Baxter Springs

May 2, 2014

Images courtesy of Red Crosser, Meghan Spreer

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The Pitt State Volleyball team is in Baxter Springs helping clean debris this morning.

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April and her husband Roy will rebuild their home in Baxter Springs. Thankfully they – along with the dog and cat – made it safely to the basement when their home was struck by a tornado.

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Yesterday, volunteers served hot meals to those in Baxter Springs.


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