No letup in Red Cross relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Surigao

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provides without letup relief assistance for and psychosocial support to the victims of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City on Feb. 10.

To date, the PRC has distributed 76,500 liters of water to survivors. The strong-intensity earthquake severely damaged the water system of Surigao City and its neighboring municipalities, and on Feb. 14, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo asked fellow Filipinos for help with the city's water supply. “We need to continue the provision of relief assistance to the citizens of Surigao, and this includes water. There is no way that people can function well and survive without a steady supply of water for drinking and for other household needs,” she said.

The PRC started distributing safe water on Feb. 15 and has since then distributed thousands of liters of water to the residents of the devastated areas. “Water is essential to survival,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon. “Survivors can go on without food for a few days, as long as they have water. We have been water tankering since Feb. 14. Yesterday, we did water tankering in Brgy. Sabang, Surigao City, and in Brgy. San Isidro, Sison. We also did water and sanitation (WatSan) assessment in Caragya Regional Hospital and Brgy. Sabang. As of Feb. 19, we have distributed 76,500 liters of water.”

Besides water, the Red Cross has donated family tents, plastic mats, mosquito nets, mosquito traps, blankets, hygiene kits, jerry cans, and canned goods, such as sardines.

Surigao City remains under a state of calamity. The earthquake has killed 8 people and injured 197 others. Currently, 4,786 families (or 7,744 individuals) are trying to recover from the tragedy.

“The Philippine Red Cross will continue giving water, relief goods, medical assistance, and psychosocial support to help with the recovery and rebuilding of the communities affected by the earthquake in Surigao,” said Gordon.