The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is on the move to help address the immediate needs in Itbayat, Batanes, which experienced successive earthquakes on Saturday.
PRC Chairman Richard Gordon, who led the organization’s response over the weekend, said the organization is focusing on providing psychosocial support, food, water, and temporary shelter for over 2,000 individuals who are displaced in an open ground in front of the municipal hall.
“We are assessing as we are giving. Right now we are focused on their immediate needs, but eventually, we will provide their long-term needs, such as houses,” Gordon said.
He added, “The operations is extra challenging as the remote island of Itbayat is a two-to-three-hour boat ride from Basco and can only be reached using small boats. But this will not slow us down. We are working with different organizations to ensure that aid will be given as fast as possible.”
PRC National Headquarters partnered with the Armed Forces of the Philippines to deploy resources for in-depth assessments.
Among the items deployed are radio equipment, satellite phones, and water purification assets, composed of bladders, treatment units, and storage.
The humanitarian organization also sent thousands of ready-to-eat meals, temporary roofing materials, and water treatment units for the affected population.
Initial assessments show that there is a need for welfare and psychosocial support, especially for Ivatans who experienced trauma following the major shakes.
“The ground shaking was traumatic for Ivatans. Our welfare team is there to help people get rid of their trauma,” Gordon added.
PRC welfare teams also provided psychosocial support to injured patients at Basco General Hospital. PRC volunteers also distributed hot meals to 900 individuals on Saturday.