Philippines Typhoon 2014 - Hagupit (Ruby)

December 4, 2014

A new super typhoon threatens the Philippines.


The Philippines is on high alert as a significant tropical cyclone gathers strength in the Western Pacific 13 months after the country was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan. The new storm, Super Typhoon Hagupit, has wind gusts of up to 170 km/h (105 mph) the BBC reports.

While wind speeds are not expected to be as strong as those of Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon on record, Hagupit (called Ruby within the Philippines) has the potential to bring with it a significant and destructive storm surge up to four meters high if it does make landfall in the country. The most recent forecasts indicate an increasing likelihood of danger for the Philippines and possible landfall on Saturday evening local time.

Preparing for the Storm

The 54-person UNICEF Tacloban Office, established after that city suffered catastrophic damage by Haiyan, is working with the local and national governments on preparedness and response. Pre-positioned supplies include water and hygiene kits, water purification units, school tents, medical supplies and generators. Supplies have also been prepositioned in Manila and Cotabato warehouses.

In Manila, the UNICEF Country Office is working closely with the government and other UN agencies to ensure that efforts are coordinated in the coverage and delivery of aid should it be needed. UNICEF Philippines has also been working to disseminate storm preparedness information through its Twitter and Facebook feeds in advance of Hagupit's possible landfall.


Rebuilding After Typhoon Haiyan

News of Hagupit's approach comes as the Philippines continues to recover from 2013's devastating typhoon that affected more than 14 million people and nearly 6 million children. UNICEF, which has worked in the Philippines since 1948, was able to provide essential assistance and services to affected families and children in water and sanitation, nutrition, health, education and child protection in the aftermath of that storm.

The Philippines is highly exposed to natural hazards because it lies along the Pacific Typhoon Belt and is within the Pacific Ring of Fire. Disaster Risk Reduction (DDR) strategies to make the most vulnerable communities less susceptible to natural disasters have been a key focus in UNICEF's efforts to assist the Filipino people as they rebuild. As Typhoon Hagupit draws near, our concerns, as always, are for the safety and welfare of children and families in the Philippines.