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Typhoon Haima hits the Philippines: Handicap International on alert

Emergency
Philippines

When Typhoon Haima makes landfall on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines on Wednesday 19th October, thousands of people could be affected. Handicap International staff, already in the country, are on alert and preparing to assess the impact of the damage caused by the disaster.

Guiuan city after typhon Haiyan in 2013

Guiuan city after typhon Haiyan in 2013. | © B. Blondel / Handicap International

Typhoon Haima, ranked at Category 4 or 5 on theSaffir-Simpson scale, is expected to make landfall in the northern Philippines on Wednesday 19th October. This typhoon could affect thousands of people, 266 municipalities and seven provinces, and cause considerable damage:

"The typhoon could cause severe flooding and landslides, and significantly affect harvests, which should begin in a few weeks," says Laura Giani, Asia desk officer for Handicap International.

"The northern Philippines depends on agriculture and the destruction of the plantations would be disastrous for local communities. The typhoon also risks heightening the vulnerability of the population, already hit by Typhoon Sarika on Saturday 15th October, in which more than 8,000 people were affected."

Handicap International will travel to the province of Luzon on 20th October with other NGOs prior to assessing the scale of the damage caused by the typhoon and to plan its response, if required.

Handicap International regularly supplies aid to people affected by natural disasters in the Philippines. The organisation also works alongside communities and local authorities to help them prepare for the risk of natural disasters, and to ensure that vulnerable people, particularly people with disabilities, are taken into account.

The organisation launched a large-scale response to Hurricane Haiyan which hit the Phillipines in November 2013, affecting more than 14 million people and causing more than 6,000 deaths. For the last two weeks, our emergency teams have been working in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, following the passage of Hurricane Matthew.

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