Philippine Red Cross steps up humanitarian efforts for quake victims in Surigao City

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The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) emergency responders and medical teams are stepping up efforts to help the people of Surigao City after a magnitude 6.7 earthquake shook the province.

PRC Chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said the Red Cross has already sent assistance to the families and communities affected by the earthquake.

“Our sympathy goes out to Surigao City. During these tough times, we assure that aid and proper responses are delivered immediately. We have dispatched two ambulances, water tanker, 6 water bladders, 4 generator sets, 2 onion tanks and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) equipment to augment the lack of water supply and electricity. Additional PRC Assessment and Operation Teams from nearest Chapters have been deployed, along with immediate relief supplies. Our teams in the nearby provinces are all on standby in case more manpower is needed,” said Gordon.

Based on initial reports, more than 300 houses were damaged and some 100 people were injured after the full impact of the earthquake Friday evening. Most of the patients attended to by PRC volunteers suffered high blood pressure, difficulty of breathing, abrasion and other minor injuries.

According to the PRC Operations Center, health, first aid and welfare staff and volunteers from nearby provinces were immediately deployed to assess the area and help the affected families. In response, PRC Surigao del Norte chapter has provided First Aid to injured patients, has set up five family tents for children, lactating mothers, senior citizens and persons with disability. The local chapter also assisted in the transport of patients from Caraga hospital to other nearby DOH health facilities, set up two welfare desks and conducted psychosocial support to 15 persons in Caraga Regional Hospital.

Some 70 pcs of family tents and more than 2,000 blankets from Mandaluyong warehouse will be distributed to the families.

PRC Surigao del Norte assured that the chapter blood bank has adequate supply of blood and will readily provide blood to those in need.

To date, power supply has been restored to some barangays in Taft, Washinton, San Juan, Saluna and some portions of Surigao City. Water supply has been cut off due to damaged pipelines. Also, the collapsed Anao-aon Bridge is now passable to light vehicles only. Surigao airport’s runway suffered cracks and authorities have temporarily suspended airport operations due to the damaged runway.

Surigao City is now under a state of calamity as recommended by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

“This earthquake reminds us to be always on guard and prepared for any eventuality. People should have knowledge on how to survive during an earthquake to help lessen the risk of casualty,” said Gordon.

The Philippine Red Cross will continue to monitor the situation in Surigao City in order to extend further assistance and much needed help.