Disaster Strikes Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands - CARE

Disaster Strikes Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands

You have likely heard the news that multiple natural disasters – including a typhoon, four earthquakes and a tsunami – have killed at least 1,000 people in recent days. In addition to the death toll, thousands of people have been injured and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless due to flooding and destruction.

Six natural disasters in six days:

During the last weekend in September, tropical storm Ketsana triggered widespread flooding in the Philippines, then strengthened into a typhoon that hit mainland Asia. The storm is responsible for killing as many as 400 people and injuring hundreds more in the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In addition, whole villages have been submerged under water, leaving thousands of people homeless. And then, when things seem like they couldn’t get worse, the Samoan islands and Tonga were hit with a tsunami that was triggered by an 8.0-magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. The tsunami has claimed the lives of 154 people to date. The initial earthquake was followed by another 5.5-magnitude quake near Samoa the following day. Wednesday was a tragic day in Indonesia as well. The island was rocked by a 7.9-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday and that quake was followed by a 6.8-magnitude one on Thursday. The earthquakes have claimed the lives of 500 people, injured more than another 500 and left untold numbers homeless.

And that’s not the end of it. A typhoon Parma is headed toward the already-ravaged Philippine islands and is expected to hit land on Saturday, October 3, 2009.

CARE’s response:

The fight against poverty is never more difficult than in times of crisis. Our projects directly assist survivors of natural disasters and conflict through both immediate relief and longer-term community rehabilitation, including food, temporary shelter, clean water, sanitation services, medical care, health services, and seeds and tools. We pay special attention to the unique needs of women and children, who often are the hardest hit in emergencies.

CARE’s emergency teams are already on the ground in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia assessing the extent of the damage and the humanitarian needs of survivors. Please check back over the coming days for details on our relief efforts in Asia and the Pacific islands.

You can help:

CARE delivers lifesaving aid and emergency services to impoverished people in crisis all over the world. We are able to carry out our vital emergency work – and help families and communities recover from the devastating impact of disaster – because of generous donors like you.

  • Please give now to help us bring lifesaving aid and much-needed hope to women, families and communities in crisis all over the world
  • Read Lisa Ognjanovic of CARE Laos’ blog entry on Typhoon Ketsana
  • Find out what country director Peter Newsum was thinking as the typhoon hit Vietnam