Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) Saturday said it immediately responded to Typhoon Mangkhut, a category 5 tropical storm that hit the Philippines this weekend.
On Friday, QRCS's Disaster Information Management Centre (DIMC) was activated to keep up-to-date with the disaster, analyse the field reports about the situation, and outline the intervention plans to help the victims.
At the same time, QRCS's representation mission in the Philippines has kept in touch with partners to gather real-time information, organise the aid process once started, and support the disaster information centre of the Philippine Red Cross.
A team of the mission took part in a meeting with representatives of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the Philippine Red Cross, and other relief providers involved, to make arrangements for an imminent large-scale response.
QRCS personnel at the Philippine Red Cross information centre
In a statement, Abdelmoneim Mheinzat, head of QRCS's mission, said, "We are working closely with IFRC and the host National Society. Our personnel have extensive experience in disaster response, relief aid, and early recovery. Procured earlier this year, our tanker trucks are currently utilized by the Philippine Red Cross to provide clean water for the affected areas."
According to initial estimates, a lot of houses were damaged, particularly in the coastal areas, largely populated by farmers. This means that huge agricultural lands are at risk. Power supply and artesian wells, the only source of drinking water, have also been affected.
The urgent needs, the head of mission expects, are blankets, kitchenware, hygiene kits, power generators, and potable water.
Established in 2011, QRCS's mission in the Philippine has conducted many relief projects to alleviate the suffering of disaster-stricken local communities. These include the building of 1,550 houses for the homeless victims of Tropical Storm Washi (2011), Typhoon Haiyan (2013), and the Surigao earthquake (2017). Other achievements are providing relief aid for displaced households in Marawi (2017) and the victims of Typhoon Vinta in Mindanao (2018). Costing $4.7mn in total, these operations were performed in co-operation with the Philippine Red Cross.
Typhoon Mangkhut (locally known as Typhoon Ompong) recorded a wind speed of 205 km/h. It is expected to cause landslides, strong winds, heavy rain, mountain torrents, and floods, with estimated 4.6mn affected people in 10 provinces in northern parts of the country.
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