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Philippines typhoon alert

Philippines typhoon alert

Team on standby for typhoon Hagupit

A year after typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the Philippines, communities are bracing themselves for another super typhoon


London, 5 December 2014

Action Against Hunger teams are on standby ahead of the arrival of typhoon Hagupit, which could reach land on Saturday night in the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.

“In the last few hours, via television and radio broadcasts, the Government has warned families living near the coast to seek refuge in churches, schools and other public infrastructure,” said Iñigo Ranz,  an Action Against Hunger logistician in Tacloban.

“But there are thousands of people in remote villages without access to information and without the economic means to move.”

Ranz is usually based in Eastern Samar, but is one of several Action Against Hunger staff to have been evacuated to Tacloban, where the organisation has vehicles and emergency stock ready to be mobilised if necessary. Should the typhoon make land with the power predicted, a logistician, two water and sanitation specialists, a food security technician and a specialist in psychological and social support would be ready to go to the affected areas immediately.

"The evolution of the typhoon is still unclear,” said Ranz. “All we know is that it moves very slowly and if it maintains the intensity of a level five storm this could be devastating because it would last for several hours.”

Action Against Hunger is still working to help communities rebuild their lives following the super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that hit this area (though it largely affected Leyte Island) 13 months ago and affected 14 million Filipinos.

We have helped more than half a million people in five provinces, repairing water and sanitation systems, supporting families to recover their livelihoods and monitoring and bolstering nutrition and psychological support to those who were affected.

"The Philippines is hit by more than 20 typhoons each year”, said Monica Acosta, of Action Against Hunger in the Philippines. “Climate change is increasing the recurrence and intensity of these extreme events,  so it is crucial to build a good disaster preparedness and resilience among the population and the authorities.”