Typhoon Goni leaves a trail of death and destruction across Asia Pacific
By Hler Gudjonsson and Kate Marshall, IFRC
As it tracked northwest across the Pacific into East Asia, Typhoon Goni has left a trail of destruction in its wake.
Goni first made landfall in the Philippines on August 22. Three provinces in northern Luzon declared a state of calamity after floods and landslides caused by torrential rains affected 230,000 people. The typhoon claimed at least 21 lives and 15 people remain missing. Government officials said the slow-moving storm destroyed 1,000 houses, forcing thousands to flee their homes. Philippine Red Cross chapters in Luzon reported extensive flooding and power black outs. Red Cross Chapters mobilised personnel to 11 evacuation centres where they handed out hot meals, blankets and emergency packs. The situation is now returning to normal as authorities give the all clear for families to return home.
Strong winds and torrential rain caused injuries to more than 20 people in Japan on 25 August when Goni made landfall on Kyushu Island in the south of the country. Power outages temporarily affected hundreds of thousands of households in Kyushu and many local authorities issued evacuation orders to residents. In Shanghai, China, the powerful weather system disrupted flights and caused widespread traffic chaos.
Although the typhoon did not make landfall in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) heavy rains accompanying the storm caused flash floods in Rason City over the weekend, killing 40 people and affecting more than 11,000 inhabitants. Rason City lies within the Rason special economic zone on the country’s border with Russia and China.
The DPRK Red Cross Society’s North Hamgyong provincial branch responded quickly to the disaster, deploying 80 volunteers, including four Provincial Disaster Response team members, who assisted in evacuation efforts and distributed essential non-food relief items to the affected population. According to the local authorities, 153 houses were completely destroyed in the floods while 849 houses were partially damaged. The Red Cross has deployed additional team members to gather detailed information from affected areas that will guide ongoing disaster response actions.
The DPRK Red Cross Society in coordination with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has dispatched non-food items from its warehouses in South Hamgyong and Pyongyang. These items include tarpaulins, family tents, cooking sets, water containers, shelter tool kits, quilts, hygiene kits and water purification tablets.
“More rain is forecast in DPRK and many disaster prone areas in other provinces are likely to be affected.” said Khaled Masud Ahmed, Disaster Management Delegate with the IFRC in DPRK. “The DPRK Red Cross Society and the IFRC are discussing its readiness in dealing with potential floods associated with seasonal rains’’.