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Direct Relief Responds to Super Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines

Goleta-based medical aid organization Direct Relief is in contact with its partners in the Philippines as Super Typhoon Haiyan — the most powerful storm on Earth this year — slams the island nation.

Locally known as Yolanda, the storm made landfall early Friday local time (Thursday afternoon in the United States) with wind speeds equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

Direct Relief is working to prepare a delivery of critical medicines and supplies to send to partners treating people in the Philippines in addition to the eight pallets of emergency medicines and supplies already en route to the country as part of Direct Relief’s previous response to the recent earthquake. The shipment — including acute care items as well as chronic care items — is expected to arrive on the island early next week.

The typhoon hits as the nation is recovering from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 200 people last month. Many people who were forced to evacuate after the earthquake are living in temporary shelters, which puts them at greater risk of harm from severe flooding and mudslides that are likely to occur with the typhoon.

Direct Relief received this news Wednesday evening from one of its partners: “I am worried about our friends in Jagna and especially the thousands that are living outdoors with at best an old tarp of some kind to cover their families. The typhoon is expected to be very bad.”

During and after flooding, many people are at high risk of developing skin and eye infections, respiratory infections, diarrhea, malaria and cholera. Highly-requested products following flooding events include nutritional products, IV solutions, antibiotics, wound care, personal hygiene supplies and medicines for chronic conditions.

To make a donation for this response, give online by clicking here. Follow @DirectRelief on Twitter for the latest updates on this response.

— Hannah Rael is a media relations and communications associate for Direct Relief.

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