Typhoon Hagupit makes landfall in the Philippines
UPDATE 9 DEC 2014
Typhoon Hagupit has caused far less destruction than feared, although thousands of homes have been damaged or destroyed.
Here`s an update on ChildFund’s affected program areas:
Western Visayas: All enrolled children are accounted for, save one who had travelled to another area and whom we are tracking down through a family member. All 87 families who sought refuge from the storm are now back to their respective homes. Some houses were damaged, and the local partner organisation is coordinating with the government for help with repairs.
Southern Luzon: All children are accounted for. The 200 families who evacuated are gradually returning home.
Bicol: All children are accounted for. The 2,675 enrolled children and their families who evacuated spent two nights at the evacuation centres and have returned to their homes. Classes in some schools have already resumed. Power supply is up already.
Throughout all affected areas, our local partner staff are assessing the extent of damage to property and livelihoods of our families affected by the typhoon.
ChildFund Philippines national director Katherine Manik says: “Thank you all for your support during this time. The greatest thanks and appreciation go to the ChildFund Philippines staff, many of whom weathered the storm in harm`s way in our offices, hotel rooms and at their homes in order to prepare for and protect our program participants, children, families and communities and be ready to respond if necessary. ChildFund Philippines has a remarkable team of dedicated professionals who have earned the highest respect and recognition for their service.”
UPDATE 7 DEC 2014
Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as “Ruby”) has made landfall in Eastern Samar, followed by a second landfall at Masbate, and is poised to make a third landfall at Sibuyan Island.
Maximum sustained winds are now at 140kph with gustiness of 170kph. The typhoon continues to move west northwest at 15kph. Estimated rainfall remains at 10-30mm/hour within the 500km diameter of the typhoon. It is expected to exit Philippine waters Wednesday morning.
Power has been cut in Samar and Tacloban, though some information is still being received from Tacloban via mobile channels. Many businesses and establishments in Tacloban have purchased diesel generators, following last year`s long power outage after Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Metro Manila is preparing to feel the effects of Hagupit. School has been declared suspended across the entire capital, and neighbouring locales. Classes have also been suspended at all levels in Mindoro, Camarines Norte and Sur, Cebu and Bohol.
Mass evacuations have helped saved lives, however, the death toll is still to be confirmed. In areas like Tacloban, which was hard-hit during Haiyan last year, people have again lost homes.
The Philippine Government`s Emergency Response Teams are activated and 1,600 government troops have been deployed across the region to provide aid and security as needed.
ChildFund Philippines, which has operated in the country for more than 40 years and was a key responder in the aftermath of Haiyan, is working closely with its local partners and the government to respond and support affected children and their families.
“Our teams are on the ground to conduct assessments of the damage,” said Katherine Manik, national director for ChildFund Philippines. “It`s challenging because of the communications outage in many of the hardest-hit areas, but we know there is a great need for support.”
The short-term goal is to provide for the immediate needs of those impacted. “Our local partner organisations will get food, water and basic household items to those in need,” Manik said. “We`re also providing child protection, including psychosocial support and safe spaces for children.”