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Philippines Typhoon Washi

Red Cross response

An outbreak of a deadly bacteria has highlighted the dramatic and ongoing needs of the tens of thousands of people in northern Mindanao who were displaced and affected by Typhoon Washi.

According to health authorities, 128 cases of the deadly bacteria Leptospirosis have been confirmed with a further 200 suspected. Four people have died.

Leptospirosis is an infection caused by bacteria found in the urine of infected animals, especially rats. It typically infects humans through wounds or broken skin that comes in contact with contaminated flood water, vegetation, or moist soil.

In December, the major tropical storm in the Philippines southern island of Mindanao killed hundreds of people and caused destructive flooding. Red Cross is responding with relief supplies and other assistance for thousands of people.

Tropical Storm Sendong and associated flooding - also known as Typhoon Washi - hit several regions in northern Mindanao, including the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City.

The tropical storm has left more than 1240 people dead and many are still missing.

More than 42,000 people have been assisted by Red Cross inside evacuation centres and in surrounding areas.

In addition, almost 89,5000 people have received food from Red Cross and almost 36,600 people have been reached with basic but crucial relief supplies. Thousands of people now have basic shelter for sleeping and access to clean water for drinking and sanitation.

Red Cross relief and recovery efforts continue in the southern island of Mindanao. More than 640 staff and volunteers have distributed food items and hygiene kits as well. Personal support has also been provided to people in evacuation centres.

Red Cross is assisting with shelter, clean water for drinking, as well as hygiene and sanitation for more than 7000 families in many of the affected communities.

Australian Red Cross is on standby to support the Philippine Red Cross.

Australian Red Cross has a longstanding program with Philippine Red Cross, working with communities to better prepare for disasters as well as improving community health practices and supporting better access to safe water and sanitation.

Red Cross supports communities, particularly those most in need, to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.

Making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery supports the work that Red Cross Emergency Services does every day in Australia and wherever we are needed around the world.

You can help

You can do so directly through Red Cross. You can make a donation to support the work of our Emergency Services staff and volunteers as they prepare, respond and provide relief to individuals, households and communities during disasters.

Red Cross supports many people across Australia and around the world where the need is greatest.

You can support Red Cross' work by:

  • donating to our Disaster Relief and Recovery work which provides valuable support for our Emergency Services volunteer teams, supported by our dedicated staff, as they prepare, respond and provide support to communities during and after disasters. Your support assists us to help households and communities prepare, recruit, train, equip and maintain volunteers to be active as soon as a situation has occurred and to provide needed help. Whenever you see a Red Cross Emergency Service team in action your donation has been an important contribution to our work.
  • giving monthly, leaving a gift in your will or making a donation to general Red Cross every day work online or by calling 1800 811 700
  • giving blood
  • volunteering to assist in preparing for emergencies, responding and recovering after disasters.
  • being prepared for emergencies by following our four steps to prepare your household.


For more information on how you can support the Philippine Red Cross directly, please go to