3.5 million suffered losses during ‘Nona’ — Red Cross
MANILA, Philippines — High-ranking officials of the Red Cross personally oversaw relief efforts conducted over the weekend in Northern Samar, one of 14 provinces ravaged by Typhoon “Nona” (Melor).
Philippine Red Cross Chair (PRC) Richard Gordon and other Red Cross officials led the distribution of relief packs to 275 families at the Daganas Elementary School in Catarman, Northern Samar, on Saturday. This was after they led an assessment team, which went to the municipalities of Catarman and Bobon to determine further humanitarian assistance to be provided “to help the communities recover from the onslaught of the typhoon.” The two municipalities were among the hardest-hit areas in the province.
Gordon said that together with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Ramsey Rayyis and the International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) Daniel Puillet-Breton, they talked to the provincial and municipal officials to evaluate the damage to infrastructure as well as to assure them that heavy equipment would be deployed to their localities to help clear debris.
“We went there over the weekend so we can see the extent of the damage and to make an assessment as to how we can assist the communities so they can get back on their feet. We intend to visit the other affected provinces to get a more comprehensive assessment,” he said in a statement.
As of Monday, the PRC’s Operation Center estimated that 3.5 million individuals, or 438,369 families, in 149 municipalities had been affected by the typhoon.
“Though we have yet to assess other provinces on its path, we have already received reports that hundreds of thousands of houses made from light materials were destroyed; schools, health facilities as well as sources of livelihood were also damaged. We do not want this to be another forgotten disaster,” he said.
The IFRC and ICRC assured the public that it would report their assessment to the Geneva headquarters “to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance.” SFM
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