Saturday, 31 October 2009

Oxfam Warns of New Typhoon

Written by DAP NEWS -- Saturday, 31 October 2009

(Posted by CAAI News Media)

International aid agency Oxfam has warned that a new storm, Typhoon Mirinae, is expected to reach Cambo dia on November2. Communities already affected by Typhoon Ketsana and prolonged annual floods in central and northern Cambodia are likely to face further difficulties with the effects of the new typhoon, putting already affected people further at risk, the press release from Oxfam said on Friday.

Typhoon Mirinae is currently on track to hit the northern Philippines island of Luzon. Although Cambodia may not be hit with the full strength of the typhoon, the country remains vulnerable due to its limited resources for preparation and response, and while the country is just beginning to recover from recent flooding, it said.

“Typhoon Mirinae could set back on-going emergency work and planned recovery and rehabilitation efforts in Cambodia,” said Francis Perez, Country Lead of Oxfam in Cambodia. “The effects of the new typhoon could increase hazards in still flooded areas and cause further damage to crops and livelihoods. It may also displace communities or prolong the return of those already displaced by Typhoon Ketsana.”

Oxfam is alerting humanitarian agencies and government authorities to help communities living in areas susceptible to flooding to be prepared by stocking on clean water and food and securing important documents. Relief agencies should work with national and local authorities to prepare an evacuation plan for people and animals with contingency plans and pre-determined safe areas, in case it is necessary to evacuate. There should be open communication lines among community members and leaders, local authorities, national government bodies, and aid agencies for well-coordinated relief efforts. “We hope the Typhoon diverts from its course and does not cause further devastation in any country. If it hits the same countries affected by the previous typhoon, the potential damage could be huge and impact on people’s lives could be severe. It will do no harm to prepare even if the typhoon doesn’t come to Cambo- dia,” Perez said.

Oxfam has distributed relief ite m s to about 6,000 families affected by Typhoon Ketsana and the annual floods in Kampong Thom, Kratie and Steung Treng provinces. It is prepared to support the government, particularly the National and Provincial Committees for Disaster Management in their leadership and coordination role. Oxfam will also continue to cooperate with other agencies and humanitarian NGOs to prepare for and respond to the impact of Typhoon Mirinae, if needed.

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