Red Cross aids Ursula victims

Volunteers and staff from Philippine Red Cross (PRC) are working round-the-clock during these holidays to help families and communities affected and displaced by Typhoon Phanfone (locally named Ursula) in Visayas and MIMAROPA regions.

“We at the Philippine Red Cross never stop working as our chapters and assessment teams continue to gather reports from Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas,Western Visayas and MIMAROPA regions so we can immediately know the pressing needs of the affected population and send the assistance that each particular area badly needs,”PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.

“This typhoon is like a thief in the night (like a sneaker or the one who sneaks at night),it came unexpected because at first it was just a tropical storm when it entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR),akala natin mahina, pero lumakas and eventually it became a typhoon amidst the Christmas season, dapat talaga naghahanda tayo. Magmula ngayon kapag may bagyo, we should treat it like wild animal, we don’t know what it will do,” Gordon added.

PRC activated 186 personnel including staff and volunteers since December 24 to respond, assess and send reports of damages to houses and other infrastructure, as well as, flooded areassuch as in the town of Paranas in Western Samar, Roxas City and Municipality of President Roxas in Capiz.

As part of an emergency response to meet the nutritional needs of people affected by disasters, staff and volunteers distributed ready to eat meal/hotmeals to 1,279 individuals including stranded passengers in different ports (Cebu- 482, Iloilo-771, Masbate-26) and activated regional hubs in Cebu, Passi, Leyte and Mandaluyong City for possible relief/assets withdrawal.

Red Cross Chapters in affected areas established 6 Welfare Desks in Cebu, Ormoc, Surigao Del Norte and Masbate while 2 individuals were providedwith psychosocial first aid in Surigao Del Norte.  Seven First Aid Stationswere also established in evacuation centers and ports in Ormoc, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Iloilo, Surigao Del Sur to assist stranded passengers.

A total of 10,587 individuals were sheltered in 35 evacuation centers in Western Samar, Cebu, Surigao del Norte, Occidental Mindoro, Iloilo and Romblon as of December 25, 2019.

In President Roxas, Capiz, more than 7,694 families or 25,000 individuals were affected including 30 families or 150 individuals sheltered in an evacuation center.

“As a response to Mayor Receliste Escolin’s appeal to help his constituents, definitely we will assist the affected families including those in President Roxas. I ordered PRC – Capiz Chapter Administrator Ray Martinez to coordinate with Mayor Escolin,” Gordon assured.

According to PRC-Operations Center, there were also reports of power supply outage in Western and Eastern Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Aklan and Capiz while communication lines in most of the areas affected by the typhoons were temporarily cut off.

As the typhoon currently moves out of PAR, it left a trail of destruction such as flooded areas caused by heavy rains, destroyed or damaged houses in coastal areas and toppled electric posts, particularly in Eastern Samar, Leyte, Occidental and Oriental Mindoro provinces due to powerful winds.

PRC-National Headquarters Office and its Chapters in Visayas, Northern Mindanao and Southern Luzon are monitoring the situation on the ground and response for Typhoon Ursula.