December 5, 2014
Readying for Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby
Update, December 9: Hurricane Ruby lost strength as it approached Manila and was downgraded to a tropical storm. For that reason, Manila sustained far less damage than did the agricultural areas of Quezon, Laguna and Batangas.
HSI’s Dr. Rey Del Napoles has been in touch with the regional rabies coordinator of the Eastern Visayas Island group to evaluate the impact on the city of Borongan and the city of Dolores in the Samar Island group, where the hurricane first made landfall on Friday and where 13,000 homes were crushed and another 26,000 partially damaged, with more than 2 million people affected.
HSI has teamed up with the International Fund for Animal Welfare to deliver relief to animals in need.
Dr. Del Napoles is coordinating a team of four HSI personnel who will travel to Tacloban and then onward to Eastern Samar to conduct a Rapid Assessment of the situation there.
Update, December 8: According to the most recent message from our local team, they were still waiting for the storm to hit Manila. Their plan at that time was to move to Tacloban from their usual Cebu post in order to position themselves for a Rapid Assessment of Tacloban and nearby areas. They hoped to find a way to access Borongan Samar, now isolated without power or mobile service, if flights and ferries resumed.
December 5, 2014: Typhoon Hagupit/Ruby is bearing down on the Philippines with winds of up to 240kph.
Our local animal rescue team is on standby to make assessments and if need be, to provide assistance to the human and animal population. Together with the Department of Agriculture, we are monitoring areas at risk—among them, metro Manila; gathering required resources, including volunteers to help on the ground; and fast-tracking the purchase of veterinary and feed supplies as the storm progresses. We’ve submitted a request to be part of military airlifts into the hardest-hit localities if necessary.
Hagupit/Ruby comes just over a year after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in what remains the most powerful storm ever to have hit the islands. In its wake, HSI mounted a major relief effort that saved thousands of animals’ lives and returned many pets abandoned during the evacuation safely to their owners.
We hope that catastrophe will be averted, but we’ll be prepared for the worst—just in case. Please visit hsi.org/disaster in the coming days for updates on our efforts and information on how you can help. Donate to our International Disaster Relief Fund.