Four days after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Northern Luzon, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provided psychological first aid (PFA) to more than 700 persons in Abra and Ilocos Sur, 216 of them children. PFA is given by trained individuals to people who have just experienced a serious crisis event. The World Health Organization says it “involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture, and abilities.”
Trained PRC facilitators give PFA to children through activities that are appropriate to their age, such as games. PRC’s Welfare Services Team set up Child-Friendly Spaces (CFSs) in areas affected by hazard events as a standard component of PRC’s disaster responses. “Tinutugunan ng Red Cross hindi lang ang pisikal na pangangailangan ng ating mga kababayang naapektuhan ng malakas na lindol sa Northern Luzon kundi pati na rin ang kanilang mental health needs.”
The PRC continues to provide other much-needed aid to people affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Northern Luzon mid-morning of July 27. As of July 31, it has distributed around 16,000 liters of water through its water tankers, 3,180 hot meals, 1,200 bottles of water, 970 face masks, 762 hygiene kits, and 262 sleeping kits, among other forms of humanitarian aid.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported that the 7.0 magnitude quake affected more than 1.7 million people in Abra, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Benguet, Baguio, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Pangasinan-Dagupan, Aurora, Cagayan, and Nueva Ecija. More than 600 families, or around 3,000 persons, are still in evacuation centers. More than 4,500 houses were damaged.