Chairman Richard “Dick” J. Gordon directed the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to send a search and rescue team today, April 11, 2022, to Barangay Ga-as, Baybay City, due to the multiple landslides reported in Leyte after Tropical Storm Agaton brought heavy rains over the weekend.
“Sa ganitong panahon, kahit na hindi super typhoon ang Agaton ay hindi tayo nagpapabaya. Palaging nakahanda ang Red Cross para rumesponde sa ating mga kababayan sa oras ng sakuna,” the PRC Chairman and CEO, Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, said.
Two assessment teams from the PRC chapter in Leyte, together with the search and rescue team, the ambulance team, and the welfare services team left for Baybay City and Abuyog town today. The chapter also deployed floating assets, such as a rescue boat, for a water search and rescue operation in the municipality of Abuyog.
In coordination with the Baybay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the PRC team sent its food trucks to prepare and distribute hot meals in an evacuation center. PRC volunteers and staff also distributed hot meals to 88 individuals in Barangay Curva and to 53 individuals in Barangay Danhug evacuation centers in Ormoc City. They also distributed hot meals in Barangay Lamak, Hilongos and to stranded passengers and evacuees in Liloan, San Ricardo, and Pintuyan towns in Southern Leyte.
PRC Ormoc City Chapter was directed to stand ready to assist the Leyte Chapter in the operations in Baybay. PRC Eastern Samar Chapter has sent an assessment team to Jipapad and Guiuan towns.
Although TS Agaton has been downgraded to a tropical depression, it continues to bring heavy rains across Visayas, Mindanao, and Luzon as it slowly moves east. As of 10:00 am today, the center of TD Agaton was located over the coastal waters of Tanauan, Leyte. The PRC is monitoring the situation 24/7 and will provide further support as needed.
Milenyo’s wrath equated to 51 deaths with a minimum 195 injured with dozens of people reportedly missing. In total, at least 13,602 houses are reported destroyed in 21 provinces and 23,790 severely damaged, affecting at least 197,268 persons. A total of 132 evacuation centers were set up by local authorities in stricken areas.
PRC Camarines Sur Chapter reported 1,676 houses were destroyed and another 6,126 damaged. In addition, there were three deaths, including a 6-month old boy who was crushed by a collapsed wall. In seven barangays in Eastern Samar, the local PRC chapter reported that a total of 329 families were affected. PRC chapters based in Metro Manila reported that more than 1,000 families were affected in the cities of Manila, Pasay, Taguig, Marikina, and Paranaque. Milenyo devastated Sorsogon as well, destroying 5,427 houses while damaging 3,005 homes.
At the onset of the disastrous typhoon, PRC deployed teams to make assess the damage and determine the needs of affected communities focusing on relief, health, water and sanitation, psychosocial support, and logistics.
PRC managed to provide 4,774 families with food assistance. It also deployed large numbers of volunteers for search and rescue, assisted families in evacuation centers, and implemented the clean up of roads. PRC also provided cash advances in the amount of PHP 800,000 from its Disaster Management Services, and 400 sacks of rice (through a local branch of the National Food Authority) were made available to various chapters in typhoon-hit areas.
During all these, PRC Chairman and CEO Senator Dick Gordon was at the helm, calling for support to sustain the humanitarian efforts for the thousands and thousands of families affected by Milenyo.
It is a day that the men and women of the Philippine Red Cross will never forget. It is also a day that strengthens the resolve of the not just PRC, but the entire nation.