Typhoon in the Philippines – Update as of November 15, 2013
France is continuing its exceptional efforts to assist the affected populations in the Philippines:
A detachment of 60 sécurité civile [French emergency services] personnel was deployed to Cebu today:
16 sécurité civile members and 2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials set off today from Lyon on a special A340 flight chartered by Airbus on behalf of Action against Hunger. Their task is to prepare the logistics for the arrival of French humanitarian donations and equipment and to lend support to the local authorities, notably with respect to managing traffic flow in the airport area;
an additional 40 sécurité civile members and another 2 Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials are due to arrive in Cebu in Monday. These personnel members will have the same task: logistical support, notably managing traffic flow at the airport and assistance with unloading, storing and distributing French and international aid; assistance with setting up water purification stations, and assistance with transferring and distributing French aid to northern Cebu.
A cargo plane has been chartered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to transport sécurité civile equipment, and a second donation of essential items financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which includes 10 tons of tents, tarpaulins, clothing, kitchen kits and equipment from French NGOs and local authorities. A total of 100 tons of equipment, including water purification units, shelter materials, medicines and emergency relief kits, will be received in Cebu on Monday evening by the sécurité civile detachment.
The head of the Crisis Center and the French Ambassador in Manila will accompany this aid to northern Cebu. The aid is scheduled to arrive and be unloaded on Monday at 9:55 pm. Media representatives may attend should they wish to.
Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed our wholehearted solidarity with the people of the Philippines
On November 9, Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, expressed our wholehearted solidarity with the people of the Philippines who have been affected by Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan. According to the latest reports, this typhoon may have killed more than 10,000 people, affected hundreds of thousands of people and caused major damage.
In order to deal with this tragedy, France immediately decided to send humanitarian assistance to the area:
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dispatched humanitarian supplies on a flight that arrived this morning in Cebu. The shipment is being handled by a team from the French embassy in Manila. The cargo, weighing around 10 tons, includes tents, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and jerry cans;
two senior members of the sécurité civile [French emergency services], who left Paris yesterday, have been made available to our embassy in Manila. They have been tasked with coordinating the distribution of French humanitarian assistance and assessing the situation on the ground;
in Paris, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Center is coordinating the voluntary contributions. Teams of voluntary firefighters have come forward (notably from the Pas-de-Calais and Rhône regions). A consultative meeting between the main associations and the French humanitarian NGOs is scheduled to take place this week;
the European Commission also released €3 million for relief operations.
We are also mobilized to help our compatriots in the area:
in order to help our compatriots and their families, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Crisis Center opened a crisis unit on Saturday. In close coordination with our embassy in Manila and the Philippine authorities they are drawing up a list of those unaccounted for as well as a list of our compatriots experiencing difficulties, in order to locate them. This task is being made more complicated by the destruction of communication channels and networks;
in the Philippines, where approximately 2,300 of our compatriots are registered as French citizens abroad, a crisis unit was set up on Friday evening at the embassy. The embassy’s website is providing safety-related messages to the French community. At this stage, no French victims have been reported;
in Vietnam, where approximately 7,000 of our compatriots are registered as French citizens abroad, the embassy’s website is providing safety-related messages to the French community. No French citizens are reported to be experiencing difficulties. Text alerts have been sent to 153 French citizens registered on the Ariane website.
throughout the Indochinese peninsula and in China, we’re also continuing to pay particularly close attention to the cyclone situation.