Red Cross responds to Typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines

July 17, 2014

The global Red Cross network is responding with help and support in the Philippines after Typhoon Rammasun stripped roofs, uprooted trees, and caused flash floods and mudslides as it tracking across some of the most populous areas of the country earlier this week.

Rammasun picked up speed once it struck the Philippines eastern seaboard on Tuesday, becoming a category 3 storm with winds of up to 125 per hour. Across the country 530,000 people were evacuated from their homes prior to the arrival of the typhoon. Authorities in the Visayan city of Tacloban, badly hit by Typhoon Haiyan last November, evacuated some 27,000 people.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies pre-positioned supplies of non-food relief items and hygiene kits for 20,000 families, as well as 10,000 tarpaulins in Tacloban.

An estimated 1 million people were affected as the typhoon passed through Bicol, Quezon, parts of the Visayas and the main island of Luzon, including Metro Manila, before sweeping out to sea towards China and Northern Viet Nam. According to government estimates, 7,000 homes were destroyed and a further 20,000 were damaged. Philippine Red Cross response teams were on high alert well before the typhoon arrived, with equipment including rescue trucks, amphibious vehicles and rubber boats readied for deployment. The Red Cross provided thousands of hot meals, food packs and non-food items to affected people in several provinces, while its emergency response teams helped in rescue efforts.

Once the storm passed, the Red Cross began conducting assessments in the worst affected regions. The focus now is on clearing debris left behind by the storm and providing water containers and non-food relief items. Water tankers have also been sent to areas without safe drinking water. The Red Cross is mobilizing volunteers to help in distribution efforts in densely populated coastal municipalities such as Taguig in Metro Manila, that are still without power and clean water.

“We’ve had positive feedback from our chapters that our disaster risk reduction training may have had a substantial effect on mitigating Rammasun’s impact. However, thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed,” she Gwen Pang, Secretary General of the Philippine Red Cross.

The Philippines were hit in November by Typhoon Haiyan, and the American Red Cross continues to support recovery efforts from that typhoon such as partnering with the German and Spanish Red Cross societies to make homes in the affected areas more storm resistant, provide access to clean water and sanitation facilities, provide cash grants to help people with their recovery and rebuilding efforts and prepare communities for future disasters.

Video Update from Tacloban in the Philippines

February 14, 2014

Disaster Update—Typhoon Haiyan and Reconnecting Families

November 19, 2013

One of the resulting tragedies of disaster is that families can often become separated. In addition to supplying people, expertise, and equipment, the American Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by Typhoon Haiyan. The International Committee of the Red Cross has now launched a website to assist these families.  Concerned family and friends can search the site to see if their loved one is listed as either “I am alive” or “missing.” They can also choose to list their loved one as “missing.”

The Philippine Red Cross responders are actively gathering information on persons who are safe and well and updating the “I am alive” listings. Families should check the website regularly for updates.

For those who are searching for U.S. citizens missing in the Philippines, the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services has an additional resource. Check their Task Force Alert system ( or call 1-888-407-4747.

Disaster Update – Typhoon Haiyan

November 12, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines on Friday leaving a trail of massive destruction in its wake. With sustained winds reported at over 145 miles per hour, and significantly stronger gusts, Haiyan was the second category 5 typhoon to strike the Philippines this year. The typhoon affected 4.3 million people across 36 provinces.

Philippine Red Cross volunteers throughout the region are reporting significant damage and a growing death toll, while the full extent of the devastation continues to unfold. While relief efforts are underway, blocked roads, destroyed infrastructure and downed communication lines are making the response particularly challenging.

The Philippine Red Cross is leading the response effort and their volunteers have been caring for people even before Typhoon Haiyan made landfall—working closely to support pre-emptive evacuations of more than 125,000 families. The Philippine Red Cross is the largest humanitarian organization in the country, with 1,000 staff and an estimated 500,000 active volunteers engaged in response to this emergency. Red Cross has begun distributions of relief supplies, but delivery in the worst affected city of Tacloban has been significantly constrained by damage to local infrastructure.

The American Red Cross has deployed four people to the Philippines. These include two people who specialize in telecommunication and who are traveling with satellite equipment, and two others who specialize in disaster assessment. The Red Cross network has deployed teams in logistics, disaster assessment, shelter, health, water and sanitation.

In addition to supplying people, expertise, and equipment, the American Red Cross is helping reconnect families separated by Typhoon Haiyan. People searching for a missing family member in the Philippines should remember that many phones lines are down. If still unable to reach loved ones, people contact their local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a family tracing case. 

Disaster Alert: Typhoon Megi

October 18, 2010

Disaster Alert

Philippines – The American Red Cross is monitoring the situation in the Philippines with Typhoon Megi. The ARC is prepared to provide assistance to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) if needed. Megi packed sustained winds of 140 miles (225 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 162 mph (260 kph) as it made landfall midday Monday at Palanan Bay in Isabela province. (source: Washington Post)

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) operations centre is monitoring the situation, receiving latest updates from PAGASA as well as from its chapters in areas placed on alert. The national headquarters has spread information – complementing advisories issued by NDRRMC – on measures that communities should take before, during and after the storm.

The National Society has already deployed one unit of its water search and rescue (WASAR) team, with additional teams on standby for potential deployment. Emergency response units (ERUs) are also on standby for possible deployment. PRC has additional equipment for water search and rescue, water treatment plants, ambulances and vehicles that are on standby and ready for deployment to priority areas, should the need arise.

The PRC can also provide portalets to evacuation centres, and its community health volunteers are ready to conduct basic hygiene education to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities by families to be assisted.

Volunteers and staff are readying pre-positioned emergency supplies such as food, bedding and hygiene items to help meet communities’ needs. Pre-positioned emergency supplies are sufficient to serve 10,000 families as of now.


Update: Southeast Asia Disasters

October 8, 2009

After a series of catastrophic disasters struck the region last week, the American Red Cross responded to a call for international assistance from four Southeast Asian countries. Members of our staff are on the ground establishing relief operations in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam. In addition, below is a summary of our material and financial support thus far.

Supplies Shipped

  • To aid relief efforts in the Philippines and Indonesia, we’ve tapped our pre-positioned stocks, valued at $180,000 from our Kuala Lumpur warehouse.
  • 20,000 insecticide-treated bed nets
  • 10,000 jerry cans
  • 25,000 blankets

Financial Assistance Pledged

  • Philippines & Vietnam: $450,000
  • Indonesia: $400,000
  • Samoa: $100,000

As the responses transition to recovery, we stand ready to provide additional aid through the global Red Cross network. You can help too.

Our support (deploying skilled people, mobilizing relief supplies or providing financial assistance) to these crises comes from the International Response Fund.

You can help the victims of countless crises around the world each year, crises like the recent earthquakes in Indonesia and the flooding and typhoons in the Philippines and Vietnam, by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster please do so at the time of your donation by either contacting 1-800-RED-CROSS or mailing your donation, with the designation, to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting

Disaster Alert: Typhoon Parma

October 6, 2009



  • Just days after a massive typhoon flooded Manila, another brought extreme winds to a rural fishing village in the north over the weekend, affecting at least 152,000 people
  • According to government officials (as of Oct. 6), 17 people have died
  • Philippine National Red Cross volunteers are providing shelter for 50,100 people in 232 evacuation centers