Philippines

DSWD continues to monitor ‘Nina’, starts providing relief assistance to affected families

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It is Christmas day, but the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to monitor Typhoon Nina and coordinates closely with concerned field offices (FOs) to provide relief assistance to the families affected by the weather disturbance.

State weather bureau PAG-ASA reports that ‘Nina’ has intensified over the Bicol region. As of 10AM today, the eye of the typhoon was located 150 km East of Virac, Catanduanes with a maximum sustained winds of 185 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 255 kph.

According to the DSWD Disaster Response and Management Bureau (DReAMB), the typhoon has displaced a total of 585 families or 2,340 individuals in Region V. The affected families are currently staying in two evacuation centers in Guinobatan, Albay.

Some 975 families or 3,793 persons residing along coastal and riverside areas in the municipalities of Pambujan and Rosario in Northern Samar have been evacuated and are currently staying in 14 evacuation centers in the region.

A total of 4,088 passengers have been stranded as of 9AM today in 10 seaports in Region V, as sea travel continues to be risky over the seaboards of Luzon, Samar, and Leyte.

The DSWD has activated its Response Clusters today to monitor and facilitate emergency response humanitarian assistance. All Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in affected regions are also on standby, while the Department’s DReAMB Operation Center is on red alert status.

The Department has begun to provide relief assistance to the affected families. About 60,000 pouches of arroz caldo are already in-transit to DSWD-FO V today, while another 50,000 family food packs (FFPs) will be delivered this afternoon. The welfare agency has already delivered 15,000 FFPs to Tuguegarao yesterday.

The DSWD has a total of 39,801 Family Food Packs (FFPs) on stock at its National Resource Operations Center (NROC); of which, 18,923 FFPs are available for allocation while the 20,878 FFPs are for delivery to different FOs.

The DSWD-DReAMB is still on 24/7 alert status and is continuously and closely monitoring weather updates, coordinating with concerned FOs, and updating the status of stockpiles and standby funds.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo reiterated her call for the public to be vigilant and prepare help for the families affected by the typhoon.

“We need to continue to be vigilant, especially now that ‘Nina’ has intensified. We continue to ask the public to heed all warnings that will be issued and to coordinate with local disaster agencies.

“We need to remain alert and even in the midst of our merry-making not forget that many of our kababayans are experiencing an emergency situation because of Typhoon Nina. We are now calling for volunteers to help pack relief boxes in our warehouse in Pasay, ” she said.