Super Typhoon Haima lashes Philippines, Oxfam on standby to respond

Emergencies, Media Releases, News article written on the 20 Oct 2016

Typhoon Haima, known locally as Lawin, is currently hammering the northern Philippines, becoming the second category four typhoon to hit the country in a week.

Bringing winds of 230 km/h, with gusts up to 260 km/h, the typhoon poses a risk to 2.78 million people in seven provinces within the 100-kilometre radius, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Oxfam Philippines Deputy Country Director Australian Shelley Honeychurch said Oxfam staff and partners stood ready to mobilise teams to conduct assessments of affected areas.

“It is too early to know the full extent of the damage but Oxfam is on stand-by to assist the national government,” Ms Honeychurch said.

“We are closely coordinating with partners and the United Nations, as well as government agencies at the national level.”

Typhoon Haima is bringing very destructive winds and torrential rainfall, and it could cause storm surges, flash flooding and landslides.

Communities in Northern Luzon are expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon, including the valley provinces of Cagayan and Isabela and the mountainous areas of the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Many communities in the path of the storm are still reeling from the effects of Typhoon Sarika, known locally as Karen, which brought in massive rains over the weekend.

People who were forced out of their homes last week due to Typhoon Sarika will remain in evacuation centres, according to officials from the Philippine disaster risk reduction and management council.

Around 20 storms hit the Philippines each year. In 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest typhoon in recent history, wreaked havoc in Eastern Visayas, killing over 6,300 people and displacing 4 million

Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses around the world can be made online at oxfam.org.au/icf

For interviews or more information, please contact Dylan Quinnell on 0450 668 350 or dylanq@oxfam.org.au