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Typhoon Parma: World Vision Launches Relief Efforts in the Philippines, Pre-positions Supplies in Taiwan

"We're not waiting for sunrise," says aid worker in Northern Luzon Aid agency to begin distributing rice, additional food, candles in the next few hours

ISABELA PROVINCE, Philippines, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- World Vision will begin relief operations this evening in Isabela Province, one of the areas wracked by Typhoon Parma.

"We are not waiting for sunrise," says Fe Olonan, World Vision programme manager in Northern Luzon. "We will begin distributing rice and other food, as well as candles, in the next few hours."

Some 200 families in Isabela had been evacuated Friday night in preparation of Typhoon Parma. The typhoon, however, changed its course and speed and made landfall in Cagayan Saturday around 3 pm (local time). Olonan said that much more assistance will be needed in Cagayan, a nearby province four hours' drive from Isabela. World Vision staff have also reported that Cagayan's capital, Tuguegarao, is being hit hard by Parma's severe winds, with gusts of 204 kilometers per hour (167 mph). Roofs are being blown off homes and other buildings.

"We also are worried about the flooding in low-lying areas alongside the Cagayan River," she said from Isabela. "World Vision has pre-positioned 350 sacks of rice in Cagayan for possible relief distribution. Additional food items will be provided by the local government. However, as of this time, we have no means to say if the supplies are enough."

According to Olonan, it is currently impossible to assess the needs and extent of damage in Cagayan. "Assessments will be conducted as soon as the weather calms down."

There are 10 coastal municipalities in Cagayan Province, which, as of 2007, had a population exceeding 10 million. World Vision is also concerned about the long-term recovery for survivors of Parma and Typhoon Ketsana, which slammed into the Island nation last Sunday. With extensive crop damage on farms, many livelihoods will be lost for several months and food will be at a premium. In Manila, survivors of Typhoon Ketsana said the cost of some food had doubled. Six days after Ketsana struck, some communities around Manila remain submerged in waist-deep water. Moreover, the presence of stagnant water raises concerns about waterborne diseases.

Meanwhile, World Vision is monitoring the path of Typhoon Parma and is launching preparations for a possible relief response in Taiwan. The relief organization has already pre-positioned supplies and staff in rural areas of southern Taiwan, especially in places previously affected by Typhoon Morakot. In some villages, World Vision has prepared up to two weeks worth of supplies, such as clean water, food, and gas for electric generators.

World Vision has been actively responding to the devastation from earlier Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines, in most affected areas of Manila where thousands of families were submerged in the recent flood. The organization is delivering aid to 20,000 families in Marikina, Cainta, Pasig and Rizal and also opening Child-Friendly Spaces and a medical mission.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.

SOURCE World Vision

SOURCE World Vision
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