Oxfam and its partners in the Philippines are preparing to respond to Super Typhoon Mangkhut as it nears the north of the country.
Known locally as Ompong, the super typhoon is predicted to make landfall in the north of the main island of Luzon on Saturday morning with devastating wind speeds of up to 155 miles per hour, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA). The state weather bureau also reported that this could be the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.
Maria Rosario Felizco, Oxfam's Country Director in the Philippines, said the organisation was concerned by UN estimates that 1.9 million people lived in the predicted path of this dangerous storm. "Super Typhoon Mangkhut is bringing very destructive winds and torrential rainfall, and it could cause storm surges and flash flooding in northern Philippines. We are also concerned about the potential for landslides, due to the mountainous terrain in northern Luzon, and flooding from the expected torrential rain."
Oxfam's humanitarian teams and partner organisations are on the ground in the Philippines and the programmes there provide clean water, sanitation, hygiene kits and food.
Felizco continued: "If Super Typhoon Mangkhut maintains its intensity and hits the northern Philippines, the consequences could be devastating. Oxfam and its partners are on high alert and ready to respond if needed."
The Philippine Government considers Super Typhoon Mangkhut to be highly threatening and has said a request for international assistance might be considered, depending on landfall and impact.
For interviews with Oxfam spokespeople in the Philippines, please contact Oxfam Senior Press Officer Lisa Rutherford on 07917 791 836 / firstname.lastname@example.org