With reporting by Afrhill Rances and Joe Cropp
A series of triple typhoons has triggered torrential rain, floods and landslides in parts of the Philippines, including the capital Manila, inundating large areas of the region and killing more than 50 people. As a national society, the Philippine Red Cross is working around the clock to ensure those in affected communities are receiving emergency help they need.
Rescue trucks, amphibious vehicles, and rubber boats have all been deployed in the wake of the worsening flood situation brought by the continuous rains. In many instances, it’s the only way to get to those trapped by the rising waters. While the Red Cross has rescued more than 1,000 people and assisted in the evacuation of another 8,000 to date, many more remain in need. The flooding—caused by Typhoons Saola, Damrey and more recently Haikui—has brought the heaviest rains the country has seen in three years, affecting some 1.2 million people.
In response to the disaster, more than 300 staff and volunteers have been mobilized, providing 8,000 people with emergency food packages or hot meals. Nearly 242,000 people are being temporarily housed in 614 Red Cross evacuation centers across the country.
Operating in 185 countries around the world, the Red Cross is highly adaptable, allowing each national society to respond in a way that works most effectively in their own country. The Philippines is an archipelago consisting of more than 7,100 islands, which means using boats and amphibious vehicles during disasters are often the best methods to reach survivors.
The typhoons have also swept through Taiwan and China. In Taiwan, six people have been killed and heavy rains have touched off widespread mudslides, forcing the evacuation of more than 1,500 people island-wide. In China, 23 people have been confirmed dead and nine others missing. Rainstorms and mudslides have destroyed nearly 30,000 houses and damaged at least 32,000 others and more than 420,000 residents have been forced to relocate.
For more information, visit www.redcross.org.