Three weeks after Typhoon Washi hit Mindanao Island in southern Philippines on 17 December, more than 54,000 affected people are still staying in 54 evacuation centers in crowded and poor living environment. It is estimated that the storm damaged about 42,340 homes, of which 12,817 were totally destroyed. Five bridges and one road in the heaviest hit areas continue to be completely impassable. Health concerns such as diarrhea and skin infections arise in affected areas with more than 100 confirmed cases, highlighting the urgent needs in providing transitional shelters to the displaced population as well as improving health and hygiene conditions in evacuation centers. According to the latest figures, more than 720,860 people were affected by this disaster, with 1,257 people died and more than 4,600 injured.
Red Cross Actions
Since mid December, the International Red Cross has been working closely with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to provide emergency relief services to those affected by the typhoon. The International Red Cross is seeking approximately HK$23.6 million globally to assist 25,000 typhoon affected people for nine months. To date, the following activities have been carried out:
- Mobilized more than 600 staff and volunteers to support the relief operation, including search and rescue activities, distribution of relief items, and managing of evacuation centers;
- Distributed food packages to about 89,500 people and non-food relief items such as hygiene kits, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils and blankets, to more than 36,000 people;
- Providing clean water to at least 200,000 affected people;
- Provided transitional shelters to 1,000 displaced families;
- Conducting health and hygiene promotion activities to more than 1,300 families;
- Provided psychological support services to more than 170 people
Hong Kong Red Cross Action
The Hong Kong Red Cross (HKRC) has mobilized HK$200,000 to support the International Red Cross’ emergency relief efforts in the Philippines. A Senior International and Relief Service Officer from the HKRC has been deployed to the Philippines to assist the PRC and International Red Cross to conduct need assessments in the typhoon affected areas. No appeal has been launched in Hong Kong at this moment.
Emergency tracing service is offered to people in Hong Kong looking for missing families in the Philippines due to this disaster. To download the emergency tracing form, please visit:
www.redcross.org.hk/tc/tracing_service/emergency_tracing_intro.html (Chinese) or
Please call 2802-0016, or fax to 2802-0017, or email to email@example.com.
For tracing service enquiries, please call 2507-7135 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.