AAP staff report
MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 10, 2013) — The American Red Cross reports that Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines on Friday leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. With sustained winds reported at over 145 miles per hour, and significantly stronger gusts, Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to strike the Philippines this year.
The typhoon affected 4.3 million people across 36 provinces. Philippine Red Cross volunteers throughout the region are reporting significant damage and a growing death toll, while the full extent of the devastation continues to unfold. Currently, 1,200 evacuation centers are housing more than 330,000 people left homeless by the storm.
The American Red Cross deployed two disaster relief specialists on Saturday to assist in the assessment and relief efforts. Since communication is still very limited in the hardest hit communities, the American Red Cross will also send two telecommunication specialists and a satellite system in the coming days.
The Red Cross has activated its family tracing services. If you are looking for a missing family member in the Philippines, please remember that many phones lines are down. Please continue trying. If you are still unable to reach them, contact your local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case.
Philippine Red Cross volunteer rescue and relief teams are providing assistance in the hardest hit communities, including assisting in search and rescue efforts and distributing food and relief supplies to survivors.
As Haiyan approaches Vietnam the Red Cross continues its relief efforts to communities affected by Typhoons Wutip and Nari, including an American Red Cross volunteer working there.
To support Red Cross relief efforts for this typhoon, click here.
The Minnesota-based American Refugee Committee is currently monitoring the situation in the Philippines and preparing to respond with relief to victims of Typhoon Haiyan, after it hit the Philippines on Friday with heavy winds and flooding rains. Thousands have died and millions have been displaced. It’s too soon to understand the full extent of the disaster, but damage is expected to be extensive as the weakened but strong storm moves over Vietnam.
ARC has 35 years of experience responding to humanitarian disasters, including the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. To support call 612-607-6494 or visit www.ARCrelief.org or email Therese Gales at [email protected]
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced Sunday that emergency teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) arrived in Cebu, the Philippines, on Nov. 9. They have not yet been able to assess the full extent of the needs as access to the areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan is extremely difficult. Tacloban airport has been destroyed, many of the roads are blocked and it is almost impossible to make telephone calls. These conditions will inevitably hamper the needs assessment and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
MSF is strengthening its teams with an additional 30 people including medical personnel, logisticians and psychologists arriving in the coming days. MSF is also sending 200 tons of medical and relief items, which will arrive in Cebu within the next three days. A first cargo plane will leave from Dubai tomorrow, and a second will depart Belgium on Tuesday. The humanitarian cargo includes medical kits for treating wounded, material for medical consultations, tetanus vaccines, and relief items such as tents and hygiene kits.
Support Doctors Without Borders efforts at http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
President Barack Obama issued an announcement that he and First Lady Michelle Obama were “deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Super Typhoon Yolanda.”
“But I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan will see you through this tragedy,” Obama stated. “The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the Government’s relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm.”