Philippines

Philippine Red Cross’ humanitarian caravan brings water, relief to storm-hit Biliran

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Amid access dangers and difficulties, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed a humanitarian caravan that will provide much-needed assistance to Biliran province, one of the areas worst hit by Tropical Storm Urduja.

PRC Chairman Dick Gordon said it’s Christmas in a few days but its staff and volunteers are working hard to bring water and relief items to affected communities in the province.

He said a 15,000-litter water bladder was positioned strategically at the Biliran Provincial Hospital to provide water regularly to patients and healthcare workers,and residents nearby. The PRC is also providing anti-tetanus vaccines to injured individuals in the province.

“I would like to commend our staff and volunteers who are working round-the-clock this Christmas season to ensure that families affected and displaced by the landslide will have access to clean water. The DSWD is also there now taking care of the food and water of those affected in Biliran,” Gordon said.

The caravan consists of ambulances, a 5,000-liter water tanker, six water bladders, five tap stands, water treatment set, and portable generator sets.

The PRC also sent a six-wheeler truck loaded with non-food items such as hygiene kits, mosquito nets, blankets, and jerry cans.

Gordon added that PRC’s Cebu Chapter is also on standby for possible deployment of additional equipment such as payloader, water tanker, truck, generator sets, deployment tents, and communication kits.

Since last week, the PRC has been on the ground providing humanitarian assistance to the areas affected by Urduja.

So far, the PRC has distributed hot meals to 8,299 individuals in Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Surigao City, Leyte, Masbate, Eastern Samar, and Camarines Norte.

PRC volunteers and staff also provided over 300 food items and non-food items such as towels, plastic mats, and blankets.

The PRC also set up 13 welfare desks and provided psychosocial support to 169 individuals.

Over 60 individuals were also rescued and transported for further medical attention.

As the foremost humanitarian organization in the country, the PRC operates in 103 chapters across the country together with an estimated of 2 million volunteers nationwide.

Aside from disaster responses, PRC's services include blood, safety, welfare, health, volunteer, and Red Cross Youth.