Het Rode Kruis biedt met man en macht hulp op de Filipijnen, nadat zaterdag 26 september de hoofdstad Manilla en andere delen in het Noorden van de Filipijnen getroffen werden door de ergste overstromingen in 40 jaar. In slechts enkele uren zijn 130 opvangcentra geopend die onderdak bieden aan 75.000 mensen. Slachtoffers worden voorzien van warme maaltijden en dekens. Tegelijkertijd treft het Rode Kruis voorbereidingen in het al door overstromingen geteisterde Vietnam, waar tyfoon Ketsana mogelijk binnen 48 uur aan land komt.
Voor de volledige Engelstalige update, zie onderstaand bericht van de Internationale Federatie van het Rode Kruis:
Typhoon Ketsana: Rescue teams save hundreds in Metro Manila as Viet Nam prepares for the worst
Bangkok, 28 September 2009 - On Saturday, 26 September, the worst flooding in more than 40 years hit the capital city Manila and other areas of the northern Philippines. Now Typhoon Ketsana is headed for Viet Nam.
Throughout the evening and into Saturday night, Water Search and Rescue Teams from the Philippines National Red Cross (PNRC) worked to save people stranded on rooftops and high walls. Using rubber and aluminium boats, the 21 specially trained teams brought more than 400 people to Red Cross-run evacuation centres in Manila and Benguet.
A total of 130 centres were opened within hours, giving refuge to nearly 75,000 people. Here, they were provided with hot meals, blankets and comfort after flash floods suddenly inundated their homes and neighbourhoods.
The flooding was caused by a combination of Typhoon Ketsana and monsoon rains. While the typhoon was anticipated and citizens braced for it, it did not look as dangerous nor deadly as many previous typhoons. However, the amount of rain it brought caught most by surprise.
A monsoon month’s rainfall in six hours
Within only six hours a staggering 35 to 55 centimetres of rain fell on the area, an amount equivalent to a typical month's rainfall in the monsoon season.
37 people are reported dead, towns east of Manila were submerged and there were reports of landslides in other parts of Luzon. Electricity in large parts of Manila either went down or was cut off for safety reasons. The airport was closed for hours, leaving hundreds of stranded passengers inside.
The government declared a state of calamity for Manila and 25 other provinces in Luzon.
The PNRC dispatched the search and rescue teams late Saturday afternoon, and mobilised hundreds of volunteers to assist stranded families fleeing the rising waters. The teams, evacuation centres and the Red Cross operational centre worked throughout the weekend to save lives.
As of Sunday morning the typhoon had passed, but the rescue work continued, since 80 per cent of Metro Manila was still under water and more rain has been forecast. Today, there are still thousands of people in the evacuation centres, and PNRC are dispatching assessment teams to affected communities.
Vietnam bracing for typhoon’s landfall
Typhoon Ketsana is now moving west, threatening to hit central and northern Viet Nam within 48 hours. Heavy rains over the weekend have already caused flooding in 19 communes across three districts. One person has died and 20 fishermen were saved when their boat sank. 4,000 houses have been flooded, livestock has been killed and rice paddies have been destroyed.
Authorities have warned fishermen not to go to the sea and sent officials to coastal areas to lead evacuation and emergency relief work. The Viet Nam National Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have evacuated 1,200 people, including children and the elderly, and warned communities prone to flooding to prepare for the worst. Volunteers trained in search, rescue and water-based life saving are on standby with boats, and Red Cross chapters in potentially impacted districts have pre-positioned food and other relief items.
Noot voor de redactie (niet voor publicatie):
Voor informatie en/of interviews kunt u terecht bij Eva Smits, persvoorlichter van het Nederlandse Rode Kruis, Tel: 070- 44 55 843, Mobiel: 06 20 95 94 78, Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis heeft op dit moment geen Nederlandstalige hulpverlener in het getroffen gebied.