Description of the disaster
On 18 October 2015, Typhoon Koppu (locally known as Lando) made landfall over the town of Casiguran, Aurora province, around 360 km northeast of Philippine capital, Manila. A category 3 typhoon upon landfall, Koppu brought sustained winds of up to 185 km/h and gusts of up to 220 km/h. The slow moving typhoon also brought 300 to 760 mm of rainfall over central and northern Luzon for 5 days, equal to one month’s worth of rainfall in some areas. Koppu inundated many farmlands and destroyed crops and livestock. The typhoon also damaged shelters, especially in the eastern coast of the Philippines.
Typhoon Koppu left 48 people dead, 83 injured and more than 3.13 million people (626,000 families) affected. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), more than 138,000 houses were damaged, with 19,000 totally destroyed. The council also reported that more than 9 billion Philippine peso (PHP) (CHF 191 million) worth of agricultural produce and livestock were lost.
Summary of the response
Overview of Host National Society
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is the nation’s largest humanitarian organization and works through 100 chapters covering all administrative districts and major cities in the country. It has at least 1,000 staff at the national headquarters and chapter levels, and approximately 1 million volunteers and supporters, of whom some 500,000 are active volunteers. At chapter level, a programme called Red Cross 143 is in place where volunteers enhance the overall capacity of the National Society to prepare for and respond in disaster situations.
As Typhoon Koppu approached, PRC released a memorandum for all chapters along its projected path and bandwidth to prepare for response. In the aftermath, the National Society – specifically chapters in the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Benguet, Bulacan, Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac and Zambales – mobilized/deployed a total of 63 staff members and 296 volunteers for the operation.
Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country In response to this operation, Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners, apart from PRC and IFRC, include the ICRC, which made food and non-food items available for distribution as well as the Qatar Red Crescent which provided funding for food support. Non-food item stocks, pre-positioned following 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan funded by New Zealand Aid and the Government of Australia, were also released by PRC for distribution.
Overview of non-Red Cross Red Crescent actors in country
Coordinating with the authorities: As an auxiliary to the public authorities, PRC maintains a strong relationship with government bodies through participation or collaboration with (i) NDRRMC; (ii) the provincial, municipal and barangay (village) disaster risk reduction and management councils (DRRMCs); and (iii) the local government units defined in the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act from 2010. As a member of NDRRMC as well as regional, provincial and local DRRMCs, PRC coordinated with central and local public authorities by participating in pre-disaster risk assessment and preparedness meetings.
The PRC and the IFRC country office attended coordination meetings called by the Office of Civil Defense, NDRRMC and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. PRC also provided consistent updates to Movement partners with in-country presence as well as to its external partners.
Inter-agency coordination: At country level, PRC and IFRC participate in Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) meetings held during disasters and non-emergency times. PRC and IFRC are also involved in relevant government-led or Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) clusters and inter-cluster mechanisms. In the course of this response, PRC and IFRC engaged with other HCT members, among others, to avoid duplication of efforts and to ensure complementarity.