S'pore Red Cross sends team of 5 to help with Hagupit relief efforts

S'pore Red Cross sends team of 5 to help with Hagupit relief efforts
Evacuees are seen at the Government Elementary School turn into an evacuation centre in Manila.

Five Singaporeans will head to the Philippines today as part of a Singapore Red Cross response team to help tropical storm Hagupit victims.

The team will distribute relief supplies including food, nutritional supplements, first aid items and hygiene kits to affected communities in Masbate - an island province home to about 834,000 people - hit by Hagupit on Sunday afternoon.

The team will also assess what is needed on the ground, said the humanitarian organisation in a statement yesterday.

A massive evacuation of up to a million people and early deployment of emergency workers and government resources have kept fatalities to at least 21 as of yesterday.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) has also sent three officers to the Philippines, including two info-comms specialists who left on Sunday to help a United Nations disaster assessment and coordination team with IT and communications support.

The two officers had also been deployed to Tacloban City in the Philippines to assist in relief efforts with last year's Typhoon Haiyan, which led to over 7,000 deaths in the country.

The third SCDF officer was sent to the Philippines last Friday ahead of Hagupit's anticipated landfall.

He will be part of a six-man ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team, which will provide rapid assessment and determine the critical resources required for the areas affected.

Meanwhile, the Singapore Red Cross will contribute $60,000 through its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to immediate response efforts by its partners. Three groups - the Philippine Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and the International Committee of the Red Cross - will each receive $20,000.

This article was first published on December 9, 2014.
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