One of the resulting tragedies of disaster is that families can often become separated. In addition to supplying people, expertise, and equipment, the American Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by Typhoon Haiyan. The International Committee of the Red Cross has now launched a website to assist these families. Concerned family and friends can search the site to see if their loved one is listed as either “I am alive” or “missing.” They can also choose to list their loved one as “missing.”
The Philippine Red Cross responders are actively gathering information on persons who are safe and well and updating the “I am alive” listings. Families should check the website regularly for updates.
For those who are searching for U.S. citizens missing in the Philippines, the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services has an additional resource. Check their Task Force Alert system (https://tfa.state.gov/ccd) or call 1-888-407-4747.
Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines on Friday leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. With sustained winds reported at over 145 miles per hour, and significantly stronger gusts, Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to strike the Philippines this year. The typhoon affected 4.3 million people across 36 provinces.
Philippine Red Cross volunteers throughout the region are reporting significant damage and a growing death toll, while the full extent of the devastation continues to unfold. While relief efforts are underway, blocked roads, destroyed infrastructure and downed communication lines are making the response particularly challenging.
The Philippine Red Cross is leading the response effort and their volunteers have been caring for people even before Typhoon Haiyan made landfall—working closely to support pre-emptive evacuations of more than 125,000 families. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in response to this emergency. Red Cross has begun distributions of relief supplies, but delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by damage to local infrastructure.
The American Red Cross has deployed four people to the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment. The Red Cross network has deployed teams in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.
In addition to supplying people, expertise, and equipment, the American Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by Typhoon Haiyan. People searching for a missing family member in the Philippines should remember that many phones lines are down. If still unable to reach loved ones, people contact their local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case.
Philippines – The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation in the Philippines with Typhoon Megi. The ARC is prepared to provide assistance to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) if needed. Megi packed sustained winds of 140 miles (225 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 162 mph (260 kph) as it made landfall midday Monday at Palanan Bay in Isabela province. (source: Washington Post)
Image from http://www.tropicalstormrisk.com.
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) operations centre is monitoring the situation, receiving latest updates from PAGASA as well as from its chapters in areas placed on alert. The national headquarters has spread information – complementing advisories issued by NDRRMC – on measures that communities should take before, during and after the storm.
The National Society has already deployed one unit of its water search and rescue (WASAR) team, with additional teams on standby for potential deployment. Emergency response units (ERUs) are also on standby for possible deployment. PRC has additional equipment for water search and rescue, water treatment plants, ambulances and vehicles that are on standby and ready for deployment to priority areas, should the need arise.
The PRC can also provide portalets to evacuation centres, and its community health volunteers are ready to conduct basic hygiene education to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities by families to be assisted.
Volunteers and staff are readying pre-positioned emergency supplies such as food, bedding and hygiene items to help meet communities’ needs. Pre-positioned emergency supplies are sufficient to serve 10,000 families as of now.
Third Typhoon in a Month Threatens To Cause More Flooding
and Landslides in the Philippines
Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 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.
“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.
- Just days after a massive typhoon flooded Manila, another brought extreme winds to a rural fishing village in the north over the weekend, affecting at least 152,000 people
- According to government officials (as of Oct. 6), 17 people have died
- Philippine National Red Cross volunteers are providing shelter for 50,100 people in 232 evacuation centers
- More than 3.9 million people, or about 512,000 families, are believed to have been affected when Typhoon Ketsana made landfall more than a week ago
- According to government officials (as of Oct. 6):
- 277 people have died
- 45 people are missing
- 2,500 houses are destroyed, 4,600 severely damaged and 2,000 partially damaged
- Philippine National Red Cross volunteers continue to distribute relief supplies for an initial 13,000 families. They are also providing:
- water and sanitation services
- health care
- shelter (318,000 people in 505 evacuation centers)
- The American Red Cross has contributed an initial $100,000 worth of relief supplies (jerry cans, insecticide-treated bed nets and blankets) from its warehouse in Kuala Lumpur and deployed an additional $400,000 and a shelter specialist from the United States to help
- An estimated 3 million people are believed to have been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding caused by Typhoon Ketsana
- According to government officials (as of Oct. 6):
- 170 people have died
- 252 people are injured
- 13 people are missing
- 180,000 houses are damaged or destroyed
- The Vietnam Red Cross volunteers helped to evacuate 160,000 people from low-lying areas and have since been providing lifesaving support
- The American Red Cross has contributed an initial $50,000 to support these local relief efforts
- At least 1,000 were evacuated when Typhoon Ketsana brought heavy rain and wind
- According to government officials (as of Oct. 5):
- 12 people have died
- 38 people are injured
- The Cambodian Red Cross has distributed food and shelter materials to approximately 960 families
- Approximately 250,000 are believed to be affected by Typhoon Ketsana
- According to government officials (as of Oct. 5):
- 16 people have died
- 120 people are injured
- 143 people are missing
- 37,500 have been displaced
- At least 120 Lao Red Cross volunteers and 25 employees were mobilized to help evacuate flood victims and have since been assisting 3,500 people recover from this storm
Press Release: Red Cross Contributes Financial, Logistical & Material Support To Asia Pacific DisastersOctober 6, 2009
American Red Cross Helps Meet Needs in Asia Pacific Disasters
World’s largest humanitarian network pulls together with response
WASHINGTON, October 5, 2009 —As humanitarian workers in the Asia Pacific transition from disaster relief to recovery efforts, the needs of local communities after devastating earthquakes, a typhoon and a tsunami are becoming apparent. The American Red Cross, as part of the global Red Cross network, is contributing financial, logistical and material support to help affected people in Indonesia, the Philippines, American Samoa and Samoa.
“We work very closely with our sister Red Cross societies around the world, and when they ask for assistance we do everything we can to respond,” said Alex Mahoney, manager of disaster response operations in Asia for the American Red Cross.
• In Indonesia, nearly 800,000 people are believed to have been affected by the two devastating earthquakes in West Sumatra last week. To respond to these needs, the Indonesian Red Cross (known locally as Palang Merah Indonesia or PMI) is asking the global Red Cross network for $6.6 million in assistance. The American Red Cross is adding an additional $400,000 to the $100,000 contributed last week to the Indonesian Red Cross. This will assist in their efforts to procure and distribute relief supplies and clean water.
• In the Philippines, the Red Cross says 2.5 million people are affected from Typhoon Ketsana and estimates that they will need about $2.9 million for their disaster response. In response, the American Red Cross offered $100,000 last week and is making an additional $400,000 available this week.
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Guam/Mariana Islands - At 5:00 am ET today, the center of Typhoon Melor was about 400 miles east of Guam. Melor is expected to continue intensifying and may become a Super Typhoon in the next 24 hours. A Typhoon Warning remains in effect for Saipan and Tinian. A Typhoon Watch remains in effect for Rota, Agrihan and Guam. The American Red Cross has sent a leadership team to support the chapters and continues ongoing communications.