The Chair of the Canberra Multicultural Community Forum, Sam Wong, has urged Canberra residents to get behind the Australian Red Cross appeal for victims of Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines and Vietnam.
“Australians who have lived in the tropical north will know the fear that even the threat of a cyclone generates,” Mr Wong said.
“In this case the full force of a severe typhoon has hit the Philippines capital, Manila and surrounding provinces. The final death toll is likely to be in the hundreds.
“Now Ketsana has reached coastal areas of Vietnam and there are already casualties there.”
“The scenes in Manila are horrifying. Some areas are six metres under water and while the waters are receding, hundreds of thousands of people have been turned into refugees.”
Mr Wong said that Canberra people had a reputation for opening their hearts and their wallets to victims of natural disasters.
“The world has had more than its fair share this year with the Italian earthquake and typhoon that devastated Taiwan and parts of the Chinese mainland,” he said.
“But I know Canberrans will respond and they can be confident their donations will go where they are most needed.”
Mr Wong said other groups in Canberra were already moving to support the flood victims. “I understand that the ACT Filipino Association and Gawad Kalinga have launched appeals,” he said.
Gawad Kalinga, meaning ‘to give care’, was established in the Philippines in 2003 with the aim of transforming poverty-stricken areas. Residents wishing to donate funds through it should contact Ronnie Bautista on 0414 885 478 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or George Lemon (0411 062 682 or email@example.com)
People can also visit www.redcross.org.au to make a secure online donation; can make a donation via a credit card on 1800 811 700 or send a cheque or money order with a note that it is for Typhoon Ketsana relief to Australian Red Cross Supporter Services, PO Box 2957, Melbourne, Victoria 8060