World Vision ready to respond as typhoon heads to Philippines

As thousands evacuate ahead of Typhoon Nock-ten in the Philippines, World Vision is on standby to respond to potential devastation across the country including the capital, Manila.

Experts are predicting that if Nock-ten, known locally in the Philippines as Nina, continues on its projected track, both the capital and the central province of Catanduanes are likely to face destructive winds, massive storm surge flooding and heavy rainfalls when it makes landfall Sunday evening  EST.

World Vision officer, Junna Daniel, from World Vision Philippines said  that people were scared but have been moving to evacuation centres with the assistance of local authorities.

 World Vison has been alerting potentially affected communities of evacuation measures, as well as pre-positioning relief items such as tarpaulins, water purifiers, solar lamps, hygiene kits and kitchen sets he said.

“We are working in close coordination with both the local government authorities and our community leaders and have assisted families near the sea to move into evacuation centres,” Mr Daniel said.

 Many of  of evacuees have vivid memories of the terrible damage wrought by previous typhoons including Haiyan which killed more than 6,000 people in 2013.

 World Vision has been working in the Bicol region for 34 years About 10,000 children are being supported through programmes on education, economic development, health and nutrition and disaster risk reduction (DRR).

 In December 2015, more than 10,000 people were provided with life-saving essentials after Typhoon Melor hit the region. In the months following the typhoon, World Vision intensified its DRR initiatives, conducting child-focused DRR training for a range over groups, including government and community level groups.

 “I can say that people are now more prepared. Since the other day, I’ve seen people stocking emergency foods while those who needed to be evacuated were not as resistant as before,” Daniel said.

Several provincial governments such as Albay and Sorsogon declared states of imminent danger as early as December 23, triggering mandatory evacuations.

Typhoon Nock-ten is now at 195km east of Virac, Catanduanes, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 175kph and gusts of up to 215 kph. The typhoon is expected to intensify as it nears landfall.

To donate to World Vision Australia’s Disaster Ready visit www.worldvision.com.au/disasterready

World Vision staff are available for interview in Australia and the Philippines. Please contact Mary-Louise O’Callaghan on 0427 413 816 or mary-louise.ocallaghan@worldvision.com.au to arrange.

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