An estimated three million people have been affected by the natural disasters across the Asia Pacific Region, and Freemasons' Grand Charity President Grahame Elliott, has approved an emergency grant of £50,000 to the Red Cross, to support their relief work there.
Typhoon Ketsana hit the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, with the Philippines and Laos being particularly badly affected. Around 80% of Manila, capital of the Philippines and home to 15 million people, was flooded. At least 277 people were killed, but many more are missing, feared dead.
On 29 September, an earthquake measuring 8.3 on the Richter Scale hit the Samoan and Niuas Islands and caused a tsunami which killed at least 1,000 people and affected up to 15,000. Shortly after, another earthquake measuring 7.6 hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, followed by yet another. At least 500 people were killed, but it is feared that the death toll will rise substantially, with thousands still buried in the rubble.
The Grand Charity’s grant will help to fund the distribution of emergency relief items, provide clean water, sanitation, healthcare and shelter as well as help rebuild people’s livelihoods.