Handicap International assists vulnerable people hit by Hagupit

One of Handicap International's beneficiaries finds refuge at an evacuation center in Palo, Leyte, just before typhoon Hagupit hit the island. Photo: Henri Bonnin / Handicap International

One of Handicap International’s beneficiaries finds refuge at an evacuation center in Palo, Leyte, just before typhoon Hagupit hit the island. Photo: Henri Bonnin / Handicap International

Handicap International has deployed teams to Samar province to measure the extent of damage caused by typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby). The teams also provide initial assistance – such as crutches and hygiene kits – to the most vulnerable families.

According to Emergency Response Project Manager Henri Bonnin, the organization also took a boat out to one of the islands worst affected by the disaster.

“We will no doubt need more boats because the only way of getting supplies to the island is by sea,” he said.

In Tacloban, home to one of Handicap International’s largest bases, the typhoon’s visible traces are already disappearing, thanks to the concerted action taken by the authorities, the local population and several NGOs.

Handicap International is also visiting the beneficiaries of its existing projects in Leyte province to assess their circumstances. Three mixed teams (composed of a team leader, a shelter specialist, and a nurse) were deployed across three municipalities to visit the beneficiaries. The aim is to provide health care where necessary or adapt the aid they already received (shelter, economic inclusion) to their current needs.

With winds reaching 200 km/h, Hagupit wrought considerable material damage in eastern and central Philippines. As of Wednesday morning, Hagupit is already exiting the Philippines and has weakened to a tropical storm west of mainland Luzon. The Philippine government currently lists nine casualties due to the typhoon.