Typhoon’s impact on Philippines hugely reduced by pre-emptive measures, UN says
Typhoon Goni’s impact on the Philippines last week would have been far worse if not for a widescale evacuation and other damage-mitigation actions taken before the storm hit, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, said on Tuesday.
“If we take into account the latest from the government in terms of impact on people, the numbers are 25 dead, 399 injured, seven missing. And this relatively small death toll shows that, again, early actions taken by the government to mitigate the impact were very successful”, Mr. Gonzalez told a regular briefing of journalists in Geneva via videolink.
The country has worked hard to improve its early warning systems and preparedness since Typhoon Haiyan claimed over 6,000 lives in November 2013.
“We are learning from Haiyan, and this is an example of resilience building, the importance of these early warnings and this massive, huge pre-emptive evacuation, and this is one of the reasons for the low numbers of casualties”, Mr. Gonzalez said.
“Of course, there is a sentiment of suffering and deprivation, but at the same time people start rebuilding their houses, particularly in the coast, that was the most affected by the by the typhoon. So this is perhaps the positive side of the resilience building. But again, we enter into the season of typhoons, we have La Niña also as a threat.”
On Monday, the United Nations launched a $45.5 million appeal to support some 260,000 disaster-affected people, many of whom were already living in poverty prior to the disaster wrought by Typhoon Goni, which is known locally as Rolly.
“We need to ensure that the least for the coming three months we respond to the needs of the most affected groups. So this is the time we need resources, and we would like to count on your support in making sure that we advocate for this contribution to the response plan in the field”, Mr. Gonzalez said.