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Largest peacetime evacuation as Typhoon Hagupit hits Philippines

Red Cross helped local authorities to evacuate more than a million people in the path of Typhoon Hagupit in the Philippines.

Monday December 8, 2014

Photo: Swedish Red Cross

More than a million people were evacuated as Typhoon Hagupit made landfall in in the Philippines over the weekend.

Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) is still moving through the Philippines, bringing intense rainfall, high waves and storm surges.

Red Cross participated in one of the biggest peacetime evacuations in history as the typhoon approached. Disaster preparedness and contingency plans were activated well in advance, based on lessons learnt from Typhoon Haiyan last year.

Philippine Red Cross volunteers are supporting local authorities to evacuate people in the typhoon's path, serving hot meals in evacuation centres and providing families with blankets, mattresses and hygiene kits.

Damage reports are now coming in as power and telecommunications networks are being restored, and people are starting to return home in areas where the typhoon has already passed. Three casualties have been reported so far and many of those living in tents and temporary shelters following Typhoon Haiyan are now homeless again.

Red Cross is closely monitoring the typhoon's path and is working on a relief operation. We have food supplies for 375,000 people for three days as well as relief items for 50,000 families; rescue and water trucks, generators and communications equipment are ready to go; and emergency response teams and nurses are on standby.

Australian Red Cross has a team of 10 specialists in shelter and livelihoods in the country, as well as 16 skilled Australian volunteers working on disaster management programs with local authorities and Philippine Red Cross.

Red Cross has a dedicated service to help families separated by the typhoon to find each other again.

We will continue to post updates as reports emerge from across the country.

Your donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery to help us to be there whenever we are needed.