Diakonia - People change the world
On the eve of December 5th 2014: All set and prepared for the typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, that will hit the Eastern Visayas, Philippines on the following day. Photo by Joselito Taldo Sosmena at the local ACT member NCCP.

Typhoon Hagupit strikes the Philippines

The typhoon Hagupit, also named Ruby, hits the Philippines on December 6th. The prediction is that the typhoon will follow the same path as last year's super typhoon Haiyan, which means the eastern areas where people are still recovering from last year's disaster.

12/6/2014 Publisher: Ingela Karlsson

The area that is predicted for a direct hit is the Eastern Visayas, in which many ACT Alliance members have ongoing operations. They have been working around the clock the past days. The activities have been focusing on, for example evacuation and preparing relief packs and setting up shelters. They are coordinating their efforts with local authorities and the UN.

Preparations better this year

On the evening of the day before Hagupit (Ruby) was about to hit land, more than half a million people had been evacuated from the area. At that time it also seemed as if the power of the typhoon had weakened some. 

According to local partners, the information, coordination and preparations are better this year, compared to November 2013 when the super typhoon Haiyan hit, killing thousands of people and devastating buildings and livelihood. Still of course, many people are in panic, remembering the terrible disaster just over a year ago. 

“People in and around Tacloban are panicking, because there has been a lot of misinformation about the magnitude of the typhoon,” says Joselito Sosmena, Emergency Field Coordinator for ACT Alliance member the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP). “For us, the most important now is to organize people to be prepared to respond. We have already stationed our food supplies in our target areas.”

Climate justice is urgent

The more powerful typhoons are one example of how climate change affects people in developing countries. We hope that the world's leaders that are now meeting in Lima, Peru, for the UN conference on climate change, COP20, will take action. Diakonia is present at the negotiations, together with partners.

The world does not only need a fair global agreement on how to stop climate change. There must also be decisions on substantial climate finance, so that people in developing countries can adapt to the climate change that is already happening.