Red Cross appeals for Philippines typhoon aid

Posted at 10/27/2010 12:46 AM | Updated as of 10/27/2010 1:33 AM

GENEVA - The Red Cross on Tuesday launched an international appeal for 4.3 million dollars (3.1 million euros) in relief aid for victims of Typhoon Megi in the Philippines.

The typhoon, the strongest recorded in the world this year with gusts of up to 260 kilometers (160 miles) per hour, killed 36 people when it ripped across the northeast of the main island of Luzon last week, authorities said.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said its appeal "will help the Philippine Red Cross to provide relief and early recovery for 60,000 people across the five worst-hit provinces over the next 12 months."

In a statement, it highlighted an urgent need for shelter materials after a survey estimated that 31,000 houses were destroyed and 118,000 were partially damaged.

"Survivors continue to trickle out of evacuation centers, not because they have homes to return to, but to salvage whatever they can," said Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon.

"They need every support to rebuild their lives and to live in dignity," he added.

About 8,000 people were still sheltered in 22 evacuation centers, according to the Red Cross.

Philippines civil defense have estimated that economic damage from the storm amounted to more than 7.6 billion pesos (176 million dollars).