2014-12-08 15:15:00

Philippines typhoon: Disaster preparedness highlighted

(Vatican Radio) Typhoon Hagupit weakened to a tropical storm as it made its way close to the Philippine capital on Monday. 27 people were killed on the eastern island of Samar where it caused major damage.

Manila battened down the hatches as typhoon, took aim at the tip of the main island Luzon, just south of the capital city.

Listen to Lydia O'Kane's interview with Matius Larson Krisetya of Malteser International 

But despite the rising death toll, there was relief that Hagupit had not brought destruction on the scale of super typhoon Haiyan, which last year killed thousands of people in the same areas of the central Philippines.

Malteser International, the relief agency of the Order of Malta, has been providing emergency relief to those affected.

Matius Larson Krisetya told Vatican Radio that food is just one the things they have been providing.

“So food is an essential item but also the hygiene kits as well as the medical supplies.”

He also said that disaster preparedness has been vital. “They (the government) have prepared people to evacuate very early on… so this is another attempt from the government to be able to be more prepared and to ensure that the event of (typhoon) Yolanda or the aftermath of Yolanda does not happen again.”

Hundreds of thousands of people had been evacuated in time and have found refuge in more than 1,500 evacuation centres.

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