Metro Manila is now on heightened alert as weather authorities warn of heavy to intense rains as Typhoon Hagupit (local name Ruby) continues to batter central Philippine islands. With three more landfalls expected in the islands of southern Luzon, Hagupit continues to head west north west at 10kph with reduced wind speeds of 120kph.
Filomena Portales, World Vision Public Engagement Director in the Philippines shares, "We urge the public, especially the thousands of families and their children, those staying in vulnerable urban settlements in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to heed evacuation warnings to avoid loss of lives."
More than 1 million individuals have been evacuated to safety and in government designated centers as thousands more take refuge -- fleeing flood-prone, low-lying communities, mountain slopes and riverside areas.
Zero casualty was achieved in Bicol region where preemptive evacuations proved life saving for thousands of families under threat of both Hagupit and lava flows from Mayon and Bulusan volcanoes. World Vision's newly constructed toilets, shower rooms, water stations and communal kitchens provided thousands of families with clean facilities and accessible water in schools turned camps.
In Eastern Visayas where Hagupit first made landfall, World Vision is working closely with government agencies and local response teams to determine the extent of damages and identify urgent needs of affected families.
"Our Haiyan Response Team in the Visayas initially provided emergency supplies to around 500 typhoon-stricken families in Tacloban. Teams are now deployed further north to assess hard-hit Samar areas while resources are being mobilized to respond to the urgent needs thousands more," Portales added.
Tacloban airport remains closed for repairs after sustaining damages from Hagupit. Air and sea travel remains restricted leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Motorists are also warned to stay away from flood and accident prone roads. Government authorities are now focused on recovery and road clearing for aid to get through critical areas. Work and classes remain suspended along the trail of the typhoon.
Storm signal warnings are hoisted in 43 areas including Metro Manila. Hagupit is expected to bring over 340 millimeter of rains are expected within 48 hours prompting people to prepare for floods and landslides.
For arrangements with media:
Aaron Aspi (based in Manila)
Emergency Communications Specialist
World Vision Philippines