GOAL teams on the ground in the Philippines are preparing to deliver emergency aid supplies to some of the hundreds of thousands of people in the direct path of Typhoon Hagupit, which is due to make landfall tonight (Saturday, December 6th).
The typhoon (known locally as Ruby) is projected to hit the east and north of Samar, a province to the east of Tacloban city. Storm surges of about four to five metres along the coastal areas are expected, along with heavy to intense rain and strong winds.
More than half a million people in the typhoon’s projected path have sought refuge in evacuation centres.
Filipinos continue to recover from the effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which smashed into the country last November, killing more than 6,000 people and affecting 14 million.
GOAL’s Country Director in the Philippines, Evelyn Moorehead said communities are better prepared than last year after learning lessons from Haiyan, but huge vulnerabilities still exist.
“Many people are taking shelter in evacuation centres, but our main concern at the moment is for those living in tents and other makeshift shelters and those residing in low-lying areas that are prone to flooding,” she said.
"GOAL has mobilised an emergency response team to deploy to Samar after the typhoon. We are in the process of rallying volunteers within the community to ensure the most vulnerable and inaccessible communities receive crucial assistance in the aftermath of the typhoon."
“We expect to be dealing with an extremely serious situation when the storm dissipates in the coming hours, with many homes and other buildings destroyed and communities struggling for clean water, food and healthcare. Once the situation becomes clear, we all need to respond fast.”
GOAL has had a presence in the Philippines since November of last year, when they responded in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The agency has provided food, shelter and emergency supplies to hundreds of thousands of people, and re-built hundreds of homes and classrooms.