Typhoon Koppu hits the Philippines: Oxfam ready to respond
Oxfam Country Director in the Philippines Justin Morgan, an Australian who also responded to Typhoon Haiyan is available for interview today. Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke, who was also in The Philippines for the Haiyan response, is available for interview from Melbourne.
Typhoon Koppu has struck the Philippines, making landfall in the north eastern province of Aurora, pummelling the coastal community of more than 200,000 people with wind gusts of 195km/h.
The Philippines Government has evacuated parts of the country at risk from the Typhoon, known locally as Lando, which as well as packing powerful winds is expected to sit semi-stationary above the country for up to three days, creating intense rainfall and potentially causing devastating flooding and tsunami like storm surges in coastal areas.
Oxfam is ready to dispatch rapid assessment teams to survey the damage left in its path, and assess and respond to the greatest needs if the Philippines Government requests international assistance.
The storm could be uniquely destructive because of the length of time it will hover over the disaster-prone country, which has experienced more than 15 typhoons this year alone.
Oxfam Australia CEO Helen Szoke said the number one priority in responding to the disaster was determining the impact of the storm, and which areas had been hit hardest.
“The Philippines have suffered yet another blow, with Typhoon Koppu making landfall earlier this morning,” Dr Szoke said.
“Our rapid assessment teams are ready to deploy if needed to survey the scale of the damage and respond to immediate needs.”
Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke, who was in The Philippines for the Typhoon Haiyan response, said Oxfam had contingency stocks in place, ready to be distributed to those in need.
“Oxfam has vehicles on standby and stocks including bladder tanks to provide clean water ready to deploy,” Dr Szoke said.
Typhoon Haiyan, which decimated the central region of the archipelago in 2013, killed more than 6300 people and forced 4 million people to leave their homes.
To support Oxfam’s response to this and other and humanitarian crises worldwide donate to Oxfam Australia’s International Crisis Fund, by calling 1800 134 134 or visiting www.oxfam.org.au/icf
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