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European Commission releases emergency funds to help victims of tropical cyclone Haiyan

EU News 465/2013

IP/13/1059
Brussels, 10 November 2013

In its immediate response to the vast devastation caused in the Philippines by the tropical cyclone Haiyan (Yolanda), the European Commission is making available €3 million to help in emergency relief efforts in the worst affected areas.

The tropical cyclone crossed the Philippines on 7 and 8 November. With sustained winds of nearly 300 km/h, the cyclone caused massive damage. At least 151 people are officially reported dead, with the death toll expected to increase dramatically over the coming days.

"This is one of the strongest cyclones the world has ever seen. I am deeply saddened by the loss of lives and extend my sympathies to the families and loved ones of all the victims," said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

"As Haiyan cut its deadly path across the archipelago, the Commission services acted rapidly to make sure that urgent assistance will be made available to those most affected by the disaster. The Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) monitors the development of the situation 24/7 and our humanitarian experts remain on the ground to further assess the urgent needs for relief assistance."

The €3 million funding will cover the most urgent emergency needs in the worst affected zones. The European Commission and its humanitarian partners will closely coordinate with national and local authorities' relief operations.

Due to the exceptional strength of the typhoon and its large diameter (up to 400 km), the number of affected people is almost 4.5 million. The storm has destroyed buildings, knocked out power and communication across a number of islands, and triggered landslides and flooding. The European Commission's Department for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, ECHO, has deployed a team of experts who is working closely with the Philippine authorities and international and national humanitarian organisations on the ground to assess the situation and organise the relief response.

Source and additional information:
http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-1059_en.htm

File Photo, Commissioner Georgieva, Tokyo, 2013.11.11, by V.J.Luna, EU, 2013 URL