Typhoon Hagupit batters Philippines with heavy rain and wind

Philippines, December 7, 2014

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  • Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines this weekend with high winds and heavy rainfall, threatening communities that are still recovering from Typhoon Haiyan. Photo: Caritas/ CAFOD

Typhoon Hagupit made landfall in the Philippines this weekend, where more than one million people — most still recovering from last year's devastating Typhoon Haiyan — fled in search of safe shelter.

The powerful storm hit hardest on the island of Eastern Samar, with winds as high as 130 mph, knocking out power and downing trees. The typhoon has weakened as it makes its way across the country, but its torrential rainfall is expected to continue for several days, causing more damage.

The slower-moving storm may spare the island nation the vast destruction that Haiyan brought just a year ago, but families are still bracing for major flooding, dangerous landslides and possible storm surges as the typhoon passes.

One area of the Philippines has already recorded 15.5 inches of rainfall over the course of just 24 hours. Many remote villages don't have power and families will be unable to communicate with each other until the rains abate.

The scars of Typhoon Haiyan have been healing — in the last year, families have rebuilt homes, restarted business, replanted fields, renewed hope for their future. But the memories are all too raw and the recovery process still ongoing, making this new blow all the more devastating.

Our Philippines team is weathering Typhoon Hagupit in the communities we’ve been helping since Typhoon Haiyan, and they are ready to respond. With the experience and local networks established during last year’s emergency response, we are able to reach some of the most remote areas to determine most people's most urgent needs.

In preparation for the storm, we used the mobile banking system we established after Typhoon Haiyan to send early warning and preparedness text messages to 21,000 people ahead of the storm's arrival. We are the only organization in the region with this large collection of contacts to reach people with lifesaving messages.

We also distributed mobile phone credit so people can communicate with friends and family in the emergency conditions.

After the storm passes, our teams will immediately begin assessments in some of those hardest-to-reach communities, helping coordinate with the larger humanitarian response. We are ready to get people back on track towards recovery quickly, ensuring they don't lose all the progress they've made in the year since Haiyan.

How you can help

Together we can help families in the Philippines recover from this second major typhoon in just a year. Your gift to our Humanitarian Response Fund deliver emergency relief and the resources to rebuild after disasters here and around the world. Give now ▸