12 December 2014
More than a million people were evacuated in anticipation of Typhoon Hagupit hitting the Philippines last weekend.
Imelda Betita stands among the destruction of her coastal village caused by Typhoon Haiyan
Having expected the worst and prayed for the best, it was with great relief there was no repeat of the scale of devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan last year.
Ted Bonpin, our Emergency Manager in the Philippines, said: ‘For a country used to severe weather, Haiyan was a real wake up call for Filipinos and a lot of lessons have been learned.
‘Both government and humanitarian agencies, including Christian Aid and our partner organisations, mobilised days before Hagupit made landfall to raise public awareness and ensure communities most at risk were evacuated.’
Food, shelter and livelihoods
Our local partners are now assessing the damage in the worst affected areas. They are planning to meet the need for food, blankets and emergency shelter in Northern Samar and the island province of Marinduque.
Our partners will also be helping restore the livelihoods of farmers and fisher folk who saw their crops and main sources of income ruined by the torrential rains and strong winds.
‘The community has learned so much. Regardless of the strength of the typhoon we always follow the evacuation plans. Doing this will save lives.’
Helping communities prepare
Thanks to the continued work of our partners, including CERD in Northern Samar, more communities across the Philippines now have a plan and are ready for emergencies like this.
Since last year, communities have learned the importance of being prepared, and of evacuating to higher ground - simple actions that can save lives.
Racky Galo, who lives with his family on the remote island of Biri, Northern Samar explains: ‘The community has learned so much. Regardless of the strength of the typhoon we always follow the evacuation plans. Doing this will save lives.’
If you would like to help us equip more communities in the event of future disasters, please donate to our emergencies fund.