Acting quickly to prepare for Typhoon Hagupit


December 4, 2014

Share this story:
  • linkedin
  • The Super Typhoon is approaching the Philippines and has already clocked wind speeds of 180 miles per hour. Photo courtesy of: NASA Goddard's MODIS Rapid Response Team

It's been just over a year since Typhoon Haiyan tore through the Philippines, destroying homes and killing thousands — now, the country is bracing itself for yet another powerful storm.

Typhoon Hagupit, known locally as Ruby, has gained strength in the Western Pacific and is expected make landfall in the Philippines with significant force. The Joint Warning System has estimated sustained wind speeds of the storm to be up to 180 mph — making it a Category 5 storm at times, the strongest on the scale.

While the exact course of the Hagupit is still uncertain, many areas that were devastated by Haiyan appear to be in the path of this new typhoon. Local authorities have issued storm warnings for 56 of the country's 81 provinces — covering 70 million people. The typhoon is expected to bring high winds and rain, with the possibility of life-threatening flooding and storm surges. Tens of thousands of people have already evacuated coastal areas, and people are buying up supplies in preparation.

Mercy Corps is using the mobile banking system we established after Typhoon Haiyan to send early warning and preparedness text messages to 21,000 people who were hit hardest by last year's storm. We are the only organization in the region with this large collection of contacts to reach people with lifesaving messages.

We've also distributed mobile phone credit so people can communicate with friends and family before and after the storm hits. We're determining local preparedness and evacuation plans with local officials to share those messages as well.

After responding to Typhoon Haiyan last year, our team on the ground is ready to use their experience and expertise to help families survive another blow. We are in the early stages of planning our emergency response should Typhoon Hagupit make landfall as expected, coordinating with the U.N. and other organizations on the ground. We're surveying local vendors to procure emergency supplies immediately after the storm passes, keeping the local economy active, and mapping rapid distribution routes to reach hardest-hit communities.

In the immediate aftermath of Haiyan, Mercy Corps provided emergency food, water and supplies to more than 18,000 people on the most remote islands. In the months since, we've been providing rebuilding materials and economic support to help more than 125,000 recover. Learn more about our work in the Philippines ▸

How you can help

Our team in the Philippines is ready to help families survive this storm thanks to supporters like you. Your gift to our Humanitarian Response Fund supports emergency response efforts in the aftermath of disasters here and around the world. Give now ▸