World Vision Preparing for the Arrival of Super Typhoon Haiyan in Vietnam and Laos
By Boaz Wadel
HANOI, 9 November 2013 - World Vision stands ready to provide emergency assistance with Super Typhoon Haiyan expected to make landfall in Vietnam on Sunday morning (GMT +7). After causing mass devastation and killing at least 100 people in the Philippines, Typhoon Haiyan is now heading towards Vietnam, packing winds of up to 180 kph (110 mph).
According to state media, the Vietnamese government has ordered the evacuation of over 100,000 people in Danang and Quang Ngai provinces of Central Vietnam. Neighboring Laos is also projected to be affected by the storm.
"While the storm will be weaker than when it struck the Philippines, Haiyan still poses danger to the people of Vietnam," said Mr. Le Van Duong, World Vision's Emergency Affairs Coordinator in Vietnam. "We fear the typhoon could have the potential to destroy many homes and lead to severe floods and landslides."
Vietnam and Laos are already reeling from a series of tropical storms in recent months, and Typhoon Haiyan may worsen the situation, especially as both countries are in the midst of their annual rice harvest.
"We are working closely with government counterparts and communities to prepare for the storm, including the reinforcement of homes and to stockpile food and water supplies," said Duong.
Laos too has been heavily hit this wet season, with flooding and landslides across the country. In September, World Vision responded to mass flooding in southern Laos where some 66,000 people were affected, and hundreds of hectares of rice destroyed. The organization provided clean water, food and emergency medical kits to thousands in the immediate aftermath of the flood and is continuing to support the affected communities with livelihood recovery projects.
World Vision works in 56 districts in Vietnam, supporting some 71,500 children in the sponsorships program. In Laos, the organization works in 24 districts, supporting more than 40,000 children in the sponsorship program.
"In all tropical storms and typhoons, it's the poor and marginalized who are the worst affected. We will continue to focus on helping children and their families from vulnerable communities get through this storm and strengthen their resilience for future disasters," says Ian Dawes, World Vision's Operations Director in Laos.