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Mexico and Philippines recover from major storms

Relief in Mexico as Hurricane Patricia recedes while the Philippines copes with massive floods from Typhoon Koppu

Monday October 26, 2015

Mexican Red Cross
A Mexican Red Cross team prepares for a post-hurricane assessment. Photo: Mexican Red Cross

Hurricane Patricia approached Mexico on Friday 23 November as the strongest storm ever recorded in the western hemisphere, but fortunately reduced in strength as it made landfall.  

The damage to homes and towns was far less than expected, and no deaths have yet been reported. Heavy rains are expected to continue for several days.  

An estimated 60,000 families in the Philippines are not so lucky. Typhoon Koppu, which swept through the country on 18 October, caused widespread flooding in central and northern Luzon. More than 50 deaths have been reported, and several fishing and farming villages were submerged entirely.  

The impact of both storms would have been far worse if not for coordinated action between government bodies, emergency services and Red Cross.  

Mexican Red Cross worked closely with local authorities to get families into evacuation centres ahead of the storm. More than 500 trained volunteers are working to determine immediate needs in terms of medical services and food assistance.

In the Philippines, Red Cross search-and-rescue teams saved more than 300 people from rising floodwaters. In evacuation centres, Red Cross volunteers were serving hot meals to families and distributing sleeping mats, blankets and hygiene kits.  

This weekend also marked six months since Nepal was shaken by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. A massive international Red Cross relief effort has provide over 500,000 people with tarpaulins for shelter, offered health services to 75,000 people and provided 35,000 cash grants to help families recover and rebuild.  

Be prepared for disasters - an emergency plan in four steps.