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Brussels, 8 November 2013
Statement on Typhoon Haiyan by Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response
We have all watched and listened with awe at reports of the destructive progress of Typhoon Haiyan as it made landfall in the Philippines. This year has seen an exceptionally active tropical storm period in the region with eleven typhoons in the last two months. It is still too soon to establish Haiyan's impact but daylight will inevitably bring news of widespread devastation.
The European Commission has sent a team to the Philippines to support the Government in assessing the damage that Haiyan – known locally as Yolanda – has caused. Our experts on the ground and in the Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) in Brussels are closely monitoring the situation. Deployment for field assessments to affected areas from Manila will commence as soon as local communications are restored. Additional staff will be deployed from our regional office in Bangkok if required.
At this stage I want to commend the authorities for their preparations for this super typhoon, including the evacuation of vulnerable people and the pre-positioning of life-saving materials. The European Union, which has already provided 42.7 million euros in disaster relief since 1997 to the Philippines and nearly eight million euros in disaster preparedness, stands ready to assist if required.
Typhoon Haiyan has already passed over the Philippines and is heading for Vietnam, where wind speeds may still reach as high as 240 kilometres per hour when it makes landfall. We all pray that the people of both countries remain safe.