AS Typhoon Haiyan continues to cut a swathe of destruction across the Philippines, the British Red Cross has launched an appeal for funds to help the relief effort.
Says a spokesperson: “Up to 15 million people stand in the typhoon’s path and the Red Cross is concerned about the number of lives and livelihoods at risk across the archipelago. Widespread torrential rain, damaging winds and high tidal surges could potentially trigger life-threatening flash floods, as well as mudslides on higher ground.
“The Red Cross is particularly concerned for the humanitarian situation of those affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month which displaced 376,000 people and killed over 150 others. Around 270,000 people are already living in makeshift shelters or under tarpaulins on the island of Bohol.
“The British Red Cross has already contributed over £100,000 to the relief effort from its disaster fund.”
Nichola Jones, British Red Cross delegate in Bohol, said: “The humanitarian impact of Haiyan threatens to be colossal.
“Thousands of people are likely to be left without food, shelter and water – this is a double-blow for the survivors of the earthquake in Bohol and Cebu who were already battling to recover from the devastation caused.
“Our volunteers are already reporting significant damages, but a clearer picture will only emerge once the storm subsides.”
The spokesperson added: “Typhoon Haiyan is reported to be the most powerful storm to make landfall since records began. Packing winds of over 190mph it is expected to remain at super typhoon intensity throughout the next 24 hours.
“Haiyan follows a raft of natural disasters to hit the Philippines this year, including several typhoons and significant levels of flooding in addition to the Bohol earthquake.
“The Philippines Red Cross has been working closely with local disaster authorities in supporting pre-emptive evacuations, with some 125,000 families being moved to safety shelters.”
Specialised teams from the Philippines Red Cross and emergency support personnel from the British Red Cross are currently on standby in the region and will be deployed to the hardest hit areas as soon as safety conditions allow.
The emergency appeal will initially help provide hygiene kits, emergency shelter, and access to safe water.
To donate to please call 0845 054 7200
Give online at www.redcross.org.uk/typhoonappeal
Red Cross spokespeople are available in London, Manila and typhoon-affected areas. For further information or to request an interview, please contact:
Anna MacSwan (British Red Cross) – firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 207 877 7519
Nichola Jones (British Red Cross delegate with the IFRC) – email@example.com or +44 7715 459956 / +63 920 222 2465
Out of hours – Lucy Keating (British Red Cross) LKeating@redcross.org.uk or +44 7710 391703.
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