World Vision prepares as Typhoon Rai nears Philippines

With Typhoon Rai (local name Odette) set to make landfall in the eastern side of the country within the next 12 hours, World Vision is on alert and coordinates with partners in the community to help families prepare.

Based on the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA’s update as of December 16 at 2AM, the typhoon is located 410 kilometers east of Surigao del Norte, a province in the southeastern part of the country. It is expected to make its first landfall in a group of small but populated islands in the said province and will cross the central part of the country.

The typhoon is packing a wind strength of 140 kph near its center and gusts up to 170kph. Several provinces are already on Alert Level 3 which means that destructive typhoon-force winds are expected within 18 hours.

“World Vision is on standby to respond to the arrival of Typhoon Rai which is due to hit the Philippines this afternoon with winds of up to 165 kph. This typhoon has the power to damage buildings and rip off tin roofs, bring flooding and landslides. World Vision works closely with the government’s disaster management authorities and responders. We have emergency stocks of supplies ready to be dispatched if needed,” says Ajab-Aram Macapagat, World Vision’s Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Director in the Philippines.

“Typhoons typically have the most impact on the poor as they tend to live in poor quality homes in places that are especially vulnerable to damage, in low lying areas alongside rivers and in packed urban communities. Flying debris can cause injuries or worse. We have a number of project sites in these areas where we work with children and their families and we have been warning them for the arrival of this storm and urging them to prepare. There are community evacuation sites in schools and churches,” Macapagat adds. The organization is currently serving around 33,000 children in areas likely to be affected.

In coordination with the national and local government units, World Vision is ready to assist and has prepositioned life-saving and relief aid to be mobilized as needed for at least 10,000 families.