VIETNAM LAOS PHILIPPINES CARE expands response to typhoon Ketsana

 Laos, Philippines, Vietnam
 Emergency Response
 30th Sep 2009

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (September 30, 2009) – CARE emergency teams in Vietnam and Laos are responding after Typhoon Ketsana slammed into mainland Asia yesterday, the worst typhoon the region has seen in decades. CARE’s emergency response continues in the Philippines, helping some of the nearly two million people affected by flooding as the same storm ravaged Manila earlier this week.

In Vietnam alone, initial government reports estimate that the typhoon has killed 66 people with another 11 missing and thousands of homes damaged or destroyed, while early reports from Laos indicate that 20 villages have been submerged in one province alone. CARE is bracing for these initial estimates to rise significantly in the coming days.

“As with the early stages of any emergency, we are yet to know the full scale of the disaster, however we are readying ourselves for the worst,” says CARE Vietnam Country Director Peter Newsum. “CARE’s experience in emergencies tells us what will be required and are preparing for a full-scale response. CARE is equipped to immediately deliver essential aid such as clean water, food and emergency kits to those families and communities who need it most.”

Reports from the affected areas tell of villages underwater, flooded paddy fields, destroyed crops and damaged homes. Electricity and phone lines are down in many areas, making it difficult to know the full scale of the disaster. It is expected that Typhoon Ketsana will deliver up to two months worth of rain over a period of 48 hours, potentially also bringing with it flash flooding and landslides.

In Laos, CARE’s emergency response team is working closely with government agencies to determine people’s needs and the required response to the aftermath of the typhoon.

“While it may be a number of days before the full toll and extent of devastation is clear, we know that houses are destroyed and food gardens and rice fields are washed away. Food, water, shelter and clothing are required immediately. But the long-term impact of this typhoon will have enormous implications for the food security of communities. Assistance will be required now and in the months to come,” said CARE Laos Country Director Henry Braun.

CARE has more than 230 staff on the ground in Laos and Vietnam. In the Philippines, CARE is working with a local partner to distribute food, safe water, temporary shelter and emergency supplies to families affected by the storm and flooding.

About CARE: CARE is one of the world’s largest aid agencies, working in 70 countries to fight poverty and helping more than 55 million people every year. CARE started working in Vietnam in 1945 and in Laos in 1954, and implements programs in food and livelihood security, disaster risk reduction, emergency response, health, water and sanitation, climate change adaptation, demining, and health.

Media contacts:
Melanie Brooks (Geneva): +41 79 590 30 47 brooks@careinternational.org
Roslyn Boatman (Melbourne): +61 419 567 777  brooks@careinternational.org

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