AS Typhoon Hagupit builds off the coast of the Philippines, humanitarian agency World Vision is preparing to respond to potential devastation in areas already battered by Typhoon Haiyan just one year ago.
Experts are predicting that if Hagupit continues on its projected track, an estimated 4.5 million people will be within a 65-kilometre radius of damaging winds. More than 34,000 children registered with World Vision programs reside in this area.
Cecil Laguardia from World Vision Philippines said from Tacloban late Thursday: “People here are so scared. They have been panic buying and now the stores are empty. Most people have moved to evacuation centres.”
Ms Laguardia said the huge gains made by relief operations in the area since Typhoon Haiyan hit last year were now under threat. Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people, and there are still a reported 3,500 families living in tents and temporary shelters in the area.
The humanitarian response organisation has been alerting potentially affected communities to evacuation measures, and pre-positioning relief items such as tarpaulins, water purifiers and solar lamps.
The Tacloban city government declared December 4 and 5 as non-working and non-school days to allow people to prepare for the incoming typhoon. Local governments have identified evacuations areas such as schools and churches, and evacuations of vulnerable families and those in high-risk areas are already underway in Tacloban City and Dulag.
World Vision has been responding to the destruction left by Super Typhoon Haiyan since it hit on November 8 last year. The response, including extreme weather resistant rebuilding and disaster preparedness awareness, has increased the resilience of affected communities to withstand future typhoons.
To donate to World Vision Australia’s Disaster Ready call 13 32 40 or visit www.worldvision.com.au/disasterready
Source: World Vision Australia