SINGAPORE - Mercy Relief has started a public fund-raising drive to aid typhoon-hit Japan.
The independent Singapore disaster relief agency said on Thursday (Oct 17) that a "first responder" - one of its staff who specialises in making disaster relief assessments - is leaving on Thursday for Miyagi and Fukushima in Japan, where Typhoon Hagibis has caused widespread damage.
The agency said it will be distributing hot meals to 7,000 people in the affected communities in Miyagi and Fukushima, focusing on areas suffering from water outages.
Typhoon Hagibis, which means "speed" in Tagalog, is one of the worst typhoons to hit Japan in about 60 years. It made landfall on Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka just before 7pm on Oct 12. It headed out to the Pacific Ocean on the morning of Oct 13, leaving behind 170 landslides and mudflows in 19 Japanese prefectures.
Mercy Relief said that the total number of deaths has climbed to 77 and is expected to rise. More than 37,000 households are still without power while 130,000 homes have no water supply.
"Mercy Relief is working very closely with its local partners to determine the pressing needs of the affected communities and the team will continue to monitor the situation," it said.
The agency is holding a public fund-raising drive from Thursday to Nov 16.
The public can donate to the agency through crossed cheques, fund transfers and cash donations.
It is also organising a crowdfunding campaign through the platform Giving.sg at https://www.giving.sg/mercy-relief/japantyphoonhagibis2019