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Update: Oxfam closely monitoring Super Typhoon Mangkhut

Oxfam and its local partners are on high alert and ready to respond to Super Typhoon Mangkhut, known locally as Typhoon Ompong, if needed. The Philippine Government considers the huge typhoon to be “highly threatening” and that a request for international assistance might be considered.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) estimates that 4.3 million people live in the projected path of this destructive storm.

Oxfam’s Country Director of Oxfam in the Philippines, Maria Rosario Felizco, said that Oxfam and its partners, Humanitarian Response Consortium (HRC) and Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC), were ready to assist any emergency response by providing services such as clean water, sanitation and hygiene, cash programming and emergency food.

“Oxfam and its partners have a strong response capacity in the Philippines with a team of experienced responders on the ground,” Ms Felizco said.

“Oxfam and our local partners are committed to working closely with the government and other humanitarian actors to mitigate the impacts of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Oxfam will be deploying staff to join the emergency response teams of HRC and CDRC.

“We’ve just sent emergency responders to travel to northern Luzon with CDRC, and we expect to send another team over the coming days to join HRC. Our joint assessments will be looking at the different contexts, needs and priorities of men, women, and the most vulnerable people living in areas most likely to be affected by the typhoon,” Ms Felizco said.

Typhoon Mangkhut is predicted to make landfall in the northern tip of the main island of Luzon tomorrow morning, and has been packing devastating wind gusts of up to 250 km/h, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

“We are very concerned about the potential for landslides, due to the mountainous terrain in northern Luzon, and flooding from the expected heavy torrential rain,” Ms Felizco said.

“Mangkhut is also projected to bring heavy rain over western Luzon, and we are concerned about the communities who are still dealing with the aftermath of ‘habagat’ - the storm-enhanced southwest monsoon rains from July to August.”

The state weather bureau also reported that this could be the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year.

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