World Vision braces for the worst as another typhoon nears Philippines

MANILA, Philippines, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - World Vision is coordinating with government officials to evacuate people Friday evening in anticipation Saturday of "Super Typhoon Parma," which is carrying sustained winds exceeding 200 km/h and threatens to be more destructive than last Sunday's Typhoon Ketsana.

Three of the organization's community development programs in the Aurora and Isabela provinces of Northern Luzon are expected to be in the typhoon's path, according to Fe Olonan, World Vision's program manager for the region. Plans are underway to relocate people to schools, churches, community centres and other secure buildings on higher ground. She added that people had been chopping down trees that could blow over and strengthening their homes to prepare for the storm.

Typhoon Parma currently is classified as a Category Five typhoon, the highest and most destructive rating and on par with Hurricane Katrina that struck New Orleans in 2005. The region is home to mixed housing, including very vulnerable barrio dwellings made of wood.

"We have alerted our program staff, and they are now closely coordinating with local councils for a synchronized response," she said. They aimed to get people into safe evacuation centres hours before the storm. World Vision staff were ready to assist with food distributions and the setting up of child-friendly spaces to help children recover from psychosocial trauma should they be needed after the storm had passed.

Moreover, World Vision staff earlier this year worked with government officials and community leaders in the region on disaster preparedness and management, lessons that will prove invaluable over the next several days. World Vision has also coordinated with the National Food Authority regarding the pre-positioning of food supplies.

The country is bracing for the worst as the typhoon is expected to hit landfall Saturday, with the worst of the storm hitting the area mid-day to early afternoon local time (In Canada, around Friday midnight and early Saturday morning).

The relief, development and advocacy organization has been helping children and families in and around Manila by distributing family relief kits and setting up child-friendly spaces in the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana. World Vision is accepting donations to assist those affected by the crisis as well as those affected by the Indonesia earthquake. Those wishing to help can visit WorldVision.ca or call 1-800-268-5528.

    
    -  World Vision donors support more than 106,500 children in the
       Philippines, including 21,750 children sponsored by Canadians. The
       organization has been working in the Philippines for more than 50
       years.
    -  World Vision is also responding to the deadly earthquake that hit
       Indonesia and is in the process of preparing family relief kits and
       water containers for distribution near Padang.
    -  World Vision is actively engaged in disaster risk reduction management
       by working with communities all over the world to help reduce their
       vulnerabilities to disasters like typhoons, earthquakes and tsunamis.
       The organization says the recent series of disasters throughout Asia
       should be a wake-up call to the global community to prioritize funding
       efforts that reduce risk and save lives.
    -  World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
       organization dedicated to working with children, families and
       communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
       people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.
    

SOURCE World Vision Canada

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please contact: Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell), yoko_kobayashi@WorldVision.ca; Alex Sancton, (905) 565-6200 ext. 3979, (416) 419-1321 (cell), alex_sancton@WorldVision.ca


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