PH Red Cross, IFRC assure more help to regions affected by ‘Rolly’

Published November 3, 2020, 3:24 PM

by Merlina Hernando-Malipot

After tropical storm “Rolly” (international name: “Goni”) barrelled across the country, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), with the support of International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), assured that more help will be provided to those who were affected by the recent calamity. 

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Citing initial reports, PRC said that “Rolly” has left massive devastation in communities. Up to 90 percent of homes have been damaged or destroyed in areas such as Virac on Catanduanes island that bore the brunt of the typhoon. 

As a response to the devastation caused by the typhoon, the IFRC has launched an Emergency Appeal for 3.5 million Swiss Francs to fund relief and recovery efforts for an estimated 80,000 people. In addition, 51,000 Swiss Francs have been released to support immediate relief.

“We are horrified by the devastation caused by this typhoon in many areas including Catanduanes island and Albay,” PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon said. “This typhoon has smashed into people’s lives and livelihoods on top of the relentless physical, emotional, and economic toll of COVID-19,” he added. 

Gordon said that PRC teams are already in the devastated areas “supporting search and rescue efforts, and providing critical relief including food, blankets, tarpaulins, and cooking equipment, and we will be there for the long haul.”

Meanwhile, IFRC Head of Philippine Country Office Robert Kaufman said that this super typhoon has hit so many very vulnerable people head on, including poor farmers, landless labourers, and fisher-folk, whose livelihoods had already been disrupted by COVID-19. 

“The typhoon has left tens of thousands of people in desperate need of support, not only in the days to come but over the coming weeks and months, to ensure their physical and emotional well-being and to restore their livelihoods,” Kaufman added. 

Kaufman explained that the emergency appeal launched in support of the PRC is based on preliminary assessments. “We need to be prepared to increase the level of support as the full scope of the disaster becomes clear,” he added. 

On Nov. 2, PRC said that a humanitarian caravan to Bicol Region, which bore the brunt of Rolly’s onslaught, has been deployed. 

Gordon noted that, based on the initial assessment done by PRC’s volunteers and staff, the caravan—composed of rescue vehicles, equipment, relief items and manpower—will strengthen the organization’s response. “More help is on its way to our kababayans in the Bicol Region,” he assured. 

The caravan, Gordon said, consists of a rescue truck, two ambulances, a food truck, a payloader, a fuel tanker, two 10-wheeler trucks, a Humvee, two water tankers, a 6-wheeler truck, a 6×6 truck, two Land Cruisers, and a Hi-Lux vehicle.

PRC also prepared initial packs of relief supplies included in the caravan to be distributed to the most affected communities. The supplies include 1,000 tarpaulins to be used as improvised roofs or walls of partially damaged houses and 1,000 sets of non-food items.

Also included in the caravan are 500 family tents, two sets of 72 sqm-Alpinter tents, and one set of 42 sqm-Alpinter tents to support those who will need temporary shelter. The team also brought one set of 15KVA-generators, two sets of 5KVA-generators, two sets of tower lights, and eight portable radios to assist as power and communication lines are still down. 

Meanwhile, Gordon said that PRC volunteers and staff are still on standby as Typhoon “Siony” (international name: “Atsani”) enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

 
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