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Typhoon Ketsana 2009

On 26 September, Typhoon Ketsana tore through Luzon in mainland Philippines, and then cut a path through central Viet Nam, generating significant flooding on 30 September. Cambodia and Laos also bore the impact of the typhoon.

The Philippines declared a 'state of calamity' in early October, when a second disastrous weather pattern - tropical storm Parma - struck, complicating the relief effort.


Almost 4.2 million people across the country were affected, after a monsoon month's worth of rain deluged the Philippines over six hours, killing hundreds, displacing more than 60,000 families and separating many from their loved ones. Widespread blackouts were reported in Manila. Nearly 50,000 homes were destroyed or damaged.

Viet Nam

Flood waters in the wake of Typhoon Ketsana left many communities stranded and without electricity.

More than 400,000 people were evacuated, while more than 20,000 homes had collapsed or had been washed away, and a further 475,000 homes were damaged and/or flooded. The education sector suffered as well, with more than 5,000 classrooms reported damaged.

Reports from Danang on the central coast revealed a ten-fold increase in reports of infectious diseases. In Quang Nam, the provincial health preventive centre and the World Health Organisation reported widespread diarrhoea, conjunctivitis, influenza and skin disease.


Twenty people were reported dead, while rapid evacuation by many communities avoided a more serous situation. More than 1,700 homes were destroyed or damaged and several hectares of rice fields and farm land were submerged.


Six of the country's provinces suffered significantly. In Attapeu province, most of the population of 117,000 were affected, with crops and homes destroyed or damaged.

Red Cross response in Philippines

Thousands of Philippine Red Cross volunteers provided immediate support during the disaster, and distributed food to more than 40,000 families. More than 5,000 families received relief, and hygiene kits were delivered to 9,000 families. Safe water was provided to communities and 45 portable toilets were installed, and health activities were in evacuation centres.

Red Cross response in Vietnam

Two Australian water and sanitation aid workers provided technical support to Viet Nam Red Cross as they set up the water treatment unit. The treatment unit is filtering clean water for around 1,000 people each day, with support from German Red Cross. Household kits and food parcels were distributed by six chapters of Viet Nam Red Cross.

Red Cross response in Cambodia

Cambodian Red Cross provided support across nine provinces in Cambodia, concentrating on providing clean water and restoring several contaminated wells, as well as providing livelihood assistance with seeds and shelter.

Red Cross response in Laos

Lao Red Cross staff and volunteers helped to evacuate 3,500 people.


Red Cross maintains a database of aid workers who are able to be sent to disaster zones. All of these aid workers have undertaken a Red Cross induction program. If you are interested in working for the Red Cross in the future, you need to complete this program.

for more information, see our aid worker webpage. [***link***]

The Typhoon Ketsana 2009 appeal has now closed

Australian Red Cross would like to thank people who have contributed to the Appeal. Organisers of fundraising events have until 10 December to send in the money collected to Red Cross, unless other arrangements have been made with Red Cross. For information on how to send Red Cross proceeds of fundraising events please call 1800 811 700 or email

Donations made to the Typhoon Ketsana 2009 appeal will be used to:

  • Support relief, rehabilitation and recovery activities for communities affected by the disaster;
  • Send specialist aid workers to assist in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response.
  • Support Australian Red Cross programs of assistance in the affected areas.

Note: Australian Red Cross will not deduct more than 10% of any donation for an international appeal to cover appeal costs. Should the funds raised exceed the amount required to meet the immediate and longer term needs of the people in the affected areas, Australian Red Cross will direct the excess funds to other emergency preparedness and response initiatives in the Asia Pacific region. Any interest earned on donations will be invested back into the appeal.

International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies

Viet Nam: Lives saved, livelihoods destroyed (30/09/09) [***link***]

Philippines and Viet Nam: Rescue teams save hundreds in Metro Manila as Viet Nam prepares for the worst (28/09/09) [***link***]

Philippines: Rescue teams save hundreds from floods in Metro Manila (27/09/09) [***link***]

Philippine National Red Cross Society website