FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 1, 2009
WITH SECOND KILLER TYPHOON FAST-APPROACHING, SCHUMER URGES STATE DEPARTMENT TO DOUBLE EMERGENCY FUNDING TO THE PHILIPPINES AFTER TYPHOON ONDOY DEVASTATES THE NATION
Dangerous Typhoon Has Killed At Least 140 Residents, Inundated Manila and Surrounding Areas and Displaced Nearly 500,000
Much of The Metro Malta Area Is Still Under Water While Threat of Disease Increases
Schumer: We Must Join Together to Help the People of the Philippines Get Through This Tragic Time
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) urged the United States State Department to at least double the emergency funding being sent to the Philippines after Typhoon Ondoy devastated the nation, killing at least 140 residents and displacing nearly half a million. On September 26, Ondoy brought a month’s worth of rainfall to Metro Manilla and a large part of Luzon, causing severe flooding. The situation is increasingly urgent because a second giant typhoon is now approaching the nation. The government has declared Metro Manila and 25 provinces under a state of calamity.
“We as a nation must join together to help the people of the Philippines in any way we can,” Schumer said. “When Hurricane Katrina devastated our nation, people around the world contributed their time, money, clothes, food, and anything else they could to help us recover. Now, a fellow nation is in need and this additional funding will certainly help the people of the Philippines recover from this tragic storm. The Philippine-American relationship is a special one, and the Pilipino-American community is a vibrant and special part of America’s and New York’s fabric. All this, and the dire situation they now confront means that we must move fast and with significant resources to provide all forms of humanitarian relief and logistical support.”
Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said the storm was the worst to hit Manila in over 40 years and has left over 80% of the city underwater. The extensive flooding has left the threat of disease extremely high and relief workers in shortage of supplies to help the survivors. Because some parts of the city have poor drainage systems, certain places remained waist-deep in water while large portions of the city were covered in sludge.
Schumer added, “The United States has a responsibility to provide aid to the Philippines during this difficult time and I hope the State Department hears our calls to at least double the funding.”