FAIRFIELD, Conn. (April 1, 2015) — As millions of families in the Philippines prepare to celebrate the long Easter holiday weekend, pre-emptive evacuations are advised for families living in the projected path of a super storm.
“This isn’t typhoon season, and Save the Children is concerned about the millions of families, particularly those with babies and young children, who will be traveling this weekend to spend time with their loved ones at Easter,” said Ned Olney, country director of Save the Children Philippines.
The ‘category five’ storm – called Typhoon Maysak – is expected to hit the island nation over the next two to three days, bringing with it torrential rains, flash floods, and gales of up to 183 kph.
“It's still too early to know what this storm will do, but we ask everyone to heed safety warnings and prepare as if this storm is going to be a big one,” said Olney. “Save the Children is ready with staff and emergency supplies, if needed, to reach as many people soon as possible in the aftermath of Typhoon Maysak.”
The agency has three main warehouses in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, fully stocked with emergency relief items, including tarpaulins, cooking equipment, soap, and clean water kits for 10,000 families. Three emergency response teams are also ready for relief work.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 typhoons a year, with Typhoon Maysak the third of 2015.
Maysak was last located 1,410 kilometers east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean, carrying wind speeds of 175 kph. It is expected to initially strike the coast of Aurora province, 143 miles northeast of the capital city Manila, on the main Philippine island of Luzon, this Saturday or Sunday.
Although expected to weaken once it hits central or northern Luzon, the unseasonal typhoon is expected to cause widespread destruction to essential services across the country, including electricity and communications networks.
President Aquino has put troops on high alert and instructed government disaster officials in eastern Visayas and southern Luzon to prepare emergency food and medical supplies for thousands of people.
How You Can Help
Save the Children has teams bracing for Typhoon Maysak as the monster storm heads for the Philippines. We always prepare for the worst, but our hope at this point is that the typhoon will have minimal impact on vulnerable children and families. We need your generous gift to support our efforts in the Philippines to prepare, respond, reduce the impact of disasters and help communities recover from devastation. Ten percent of your contribution will be used to help us prepare for the next emergency. Nobody knows when the next disaster will strike, but your support helps Save the Children provide assistance in the critical first hours and days of an emergency when children need us most.