Islamic Relief’s emergency response to the latest typhoon to strike the Philippines is to include distributing shelter and hygiene supplies in Eastern Visayas and Leyte.

Typhoon Hagupit, reaching speeds of 130km an hour, has affected over one million people in seven regions and Metro Manila in the Philippines. Power has been cut in 17 provinces across Visayas and Luzon, and communications lines are down in some parts of Leyte and Eastern Samar – making it challenging to establish the full extent of the damage.

Barangay Palengke, in the Caibiran municipality of Biliran, where more than 900 homes have been damaged - and almost 90 destroyed.

Barangay Palengke, in the Caibiran municipality of Biliran, where more than 900 homes have been damaged – and almost 90 destroyed.

Dozens are so far thought to have died. Currently, around 43,000 families are staying in evacuation centres but another 9,000 still need to be evacuated to safety. Schools and other public infrastructure have been damaged, and flooding is hampering aid efforts in some areas.

Urgent aid for affected families in Eastern Visayas and Leyte

Since the storm made landfall, Islamic Relief’s emergency teams have been on the ground assessing the urgent needs of affected communities. As part of our immediate response to the disaster, we have identified at least 3,000 households in need of urgent help in Eastern Visayas and Leyte.

We are already working to provide immediate support to 1,500 families. Tarpaulin, to be used as emergency shelter material, is to be provided to 500 families. Kitchen sets will also be distributed to 500 households and hygiene kits to around 500 families to help restore dignity and prevent the outbreak of communicable diseases.

The typhoon, known locally as typhoon Ruby, has weakened into a tropical storm and is expected to linger over the island archipelago until Wednesday evening. Islamic Relief Philippines continues to monitor the situation closely and we are working with the UN and other humanitarian agencies to respond to the disaster.

A man on Bantayan Island describes the devastation to the Islamic Relief emergency team.

A man on Bantayan Island describes the devastation to the Islamic Relief emergency team.

Supporting communities to rebuild and better protect themselves

In the aftermath of the storm, it is expected that communities will require support to repair homes and public buildings such as schools, as well as aid to address food security.

Typhoon Hagupit hit the Philippines just over a year after Typhoon Haiyan, which pounded the country with wind speeds of 300km an hour and took the lives of 6,000 people. Many of those affected by Hagupit were still working to rebuild their lives after Haiyan.

Islamic Relief began working in the Philippines in 2013, as one of the first international organisations to respond to Typhoon Haiyan. Our work includes helping Filipino communities to recover and better protect themselves from disasters.