(Cebu, Sunday 7 December) Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Typhoon Ruby has made landfall and is currently sweeping across the Philippines. Nearly 19 million people are expected to be affected, their homes and crops damaged.
Nearly 1 million people, especially those from coastal areas, have fled to evacuation centres, including schools and churches.
The typhoon made landfall at 21:15 on Saturday 6 December in Eastern Samar with sustained winds of 205kmph and gusts of up to 210kmph. A number of provinces in Eastern Samar are continuing to experience strong wind and heavy rainfall, with storm surge of 3 – 7 meters.
Joyce Laker ActionAid’s Country Director in The Philippines, who has been working to evacuate people to places of safety said:
“The worst of the storm has now passed the communities who were shattered by Typhoon Haiyan last year. People in our evacuation centres are understandably afraid and very worried, but currently we are not witnessing the scenes of mass devastation we saw a year ago.
“The storm is slow moving so still has the potential to be destructive. Many areas of the country are in complete black out, so we’ve yet to hear what the full impact has been.
“Our aid workers have successfully helped evacuate thousands of people to places of safety. Over 1,500 people are currently using our specially constructed evacuation centre in Culasi. Others are taking shelter in churches or local schools.
“Right now we are handing out desperately needed basic supplies, like rice, canned food, water and coffee, as well as hygiene kits to people who have fled the storm.
“As the wind and rain subsides, our team is coming out from storm shelters to assess the damage and see what else needs to be done. We are in close contact with other aid agencies and the government to join a large-scale, coordinated delivery of aid to meet people’s shelter, food and health needs across the country.”
For more information and interviews please contact:
ActionAid Press Office on 07753973486