The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) deployed manpower and rescue vehicles to assist in the search and rescue operations in a collapsed supermarket in Porac, Pampanga following the 6.1-magnitude earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday.
Data from the PRC Operations Center shows that as of 7am, 24 individuals are still missing while 69 suffered injuries. PRC mobilized 30 manpower equipped with two ambulance units, two rescue vehicles, a generator set, and a tower light.
PRC also provided body bags to facilitate proper management of bodies retrieved in the incident site.
“We are all together. Red Cross continues the search and rescue operations for the missing individuals at Chuzon Supermarket. We deployed our assets from nearby chapters to provide additional manpower in affected areas. No one shall be left behind,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.
Gordon also urged business owners to take precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the crowd.
“Be mindful of the safety of the people in your establishments. Business owners should inspect and double check the safety of their establishments to avoid putting people in dangerous situations,” he added.
Red Cross also advises the public to take earthquake drills seriously to prevent major casualties and take note of the following measures before, during, and after an earthquake.
- • Bolt and brace water heaters and gas appliances with wall studs.
- • Bolt bookcases, china cabinets and other tall furniture with wall studs.
- • Hang heavy items, such as pictures and mirrors, away from beds, couches and anywhere people sleep or sit.
- • Brace overhead light fixtures.
- • Install strong latches or bolts on cabinets. Large or heavy items should be closest to the floor.
- • Learn how to shut off the gas valves in your home and keep a wrench handy for that purpose.
During – if indoors
- • Drop, cover and hold on. Move as little as possible and watch for falling objects.
- • It is most important to keep your head and torso covered. If you’re sitting at a desk or table, get under it. Otherwise drop wherever you are.
- • If you are in bed, stay there, curl up and hold on, protecting your head with a pillow.
- • Stay away from windows to avoid being injured by shattered glass.
- • Stay indoors until the shaking stops and you are sure it is safe to exit. If you must go outside after the shaking stops, use stairs rather than an elevator in case of aftershocks, power outages or other damages.
- • Be aware that fire alarms and sprinkler systems frequently go off in buildings during an earthquake, even if there is no fire.
During – if you are outside
Find a clear spot and drop to the ground. Stay there until the shaking stops (away from buildings, power lines, trees, streetlights).
During – if you are in a vehicle
- • Pull over to a clear location and stop.
- • Avoid bridges, overpasses and power lines if possible.
- • Stay inside with your seatbelt fastened until the shaking stops.
- • Then, drive carefully avoiding bridges and ramps that might have been damaged.
- • If a power line falls on your vehicle, do not get out. Wait for assistance.
- • If you are in a mountainous area or near unstable slopes and cliffs, be alert for falling rocks and other debris.
- • Landslides are often triggered by earthquakes.
- • If away from home, return only when authorities say it’s safe to do so.
- • Be prepared for aftershocks. If you feel one, drop cover and hold on.
- • Aftershocks frequently occur minutes, days, weeks and even months following an earthquake.
- • Open cabinets slowly. Beware of objects that can fall off shelves.
- • Stay away from damaged areas in and around your home.
- • Look for and extinguish small fires. Fire is the most common hazard after an earthquake.
- • Check for gas leaks to prevent fires and secondary damage. Spray the fittings on your gas meter and any fittings on gas appliances with a mixture of water and a little liquid dish soap. If it bubbles, there is gas present.
- • Use extreme caution and examine walls, floors, doors, staircases and windows to check for damage.
A total of 9,065 patients were served during the Holy Week operations of Philippine Red Cross, including individuals involved in road crashes and drowning incidents.
Most of the patients (8,289) had their blood pressure monitored due to extreme heat, while 42 patients who suffered from fainting, severe body pain, difficulty of breathing, and head trauma were transported for further medical attention.
There were also eight major cases recorded such as seizure, loss of consciousness and fracture, while 493 patients sustained wounds, others suffered from sprain, muscle cramps, dizziness and vomiting.
PRC’s welfare desks also catered to 233 individuals, including those assisted through psychosocial support and who sought help to trace their families.
PRC deployed a total of 2,000 staff and 150 ambulances nationwide from April 14 to 22.
“Salute to our untiring staff and volunteers who assisted to our countrymen during the holy week. Selfless act indeed, when you think of others first before yourself. Serving the people and uplifting them during catastrophes has been a regular endeavor for Philippine Red Cross,” Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of PRC, said.
In Kalinga, PRC staff and volunteers responded to a road crash incident in Binongsay Road, Bry. Malin-awa, Tabuk City, where an elf truck fell off a cliff after losing its brakes. The incident resulted in eight deaths and injured 16 people. PRC provided hot meals and hygiene kits to the nine patients currently admitted.
Meanwhile, in Calatagan, Batangas, PRC transported a 12-year-old boy to Batangas Medicare Hospital due to drowning.
PRC also showed readiness in responding to fire when it immediately mobilized its fire trucks and ambulance vehicles to two fire incidents that both reached 4th alarm in Quezon City and Laguna in April 20.
Aside from the fire trucks and ambulance, the PRC also deployed four first aiders in the fire in Capoas, Masambong in Quezon City where it gutted several houses.
The fire in Laguna destroyed a paper mill in the town of Cabuyao. There were no reported casualties in the said fire incidents.
The number of patients assisted this year is higher compared to last year’s 8,844 individuals.
PRC Holy Week Operations
Summary of assistance
Total Patients Catered (2019): 9,065 (Apr 14-Apr 22)
Total Patients Catered (2018): 8,844 (Mar 26-Apr 2)
Breakdown as follows:
Blood pressure monitoring – 8,289
Transported – 42 (fainting, severe body pain, breathing difficulties, head trauma)
Major – 8 (seizure, loss of consciousness, fracture)
Minor – 493 (wound, sprain, muscle crumps, jellyfish sting, dizziness, vomiting)
Welfare- 233 (Psychosocial support – 179, tracing – 4, referral – 50)
AID POURED in for 1,217 families in Camarines Sur and Albay as the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provided multipurpose cash grants to help them recover from the aftermath of Tropical Depression Usman, which ravaged the southern part of the country in December 2018.
On March 19, PRC, in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, distributed P3,500 each to 917 families from Brgy. San Miguel and Brgy. Ombao Polpog in the Municipality of Bula, Camarines Sur.
This was followed by the distribution of cash grants to 300 most affected families Brgy. Maynonong, Brgy. Naga, and Brgy. Sugod from the Municipality of Tiwi, Albay on March 20.
Chairman Richard Gordon said the cash grant empowers the beneficiaries to start anew following the devastation of Usman.
“The Red Cross never forgets. It’s been three months since Usman displaced thousands and we are still here to assure people that they will never walk alone. We are here to give them options,” Gordon said.
The distribution of multipurpose cash grant allows families to prioritize their immediate needs to recover from the impact of the disaster.
Data from the PRC Operations Center shows that Usman damaged over 5,000 houses in Camarines Sur and Albay. Landslides and flooding also resulted in agricultural and livelihood losses.
PRC first dispatched a “humanitarian caravan” composed of water tankers and rescue trucks during the height of Usman.
Staff and volunteers also spent the New Year providing search and rescue, relief, water, and welfare assistance to affected communities in Camarines Sur and Albay.