Red Cross deploys caravan to N. Luzon

- Claudeth Mocon-Ciriaco

THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC), under the leadership of its chairman and CEO, Sen. Richard Gordon, is set to visit Cagayan and Isabela to assess the damage and provide assistance for the vulnerable who were affected by typhoon “Ulysses.”

“Our response is always fast— for speed is the name of the game. We rush and double our efforts after all disasters came one after another,” Gordon said.

The PRC earlier deployed a humanitari­an caravan to Cagayan and Isabela to intensify the rescue and relief efforts.

“Based on the initial assessment done by our volunteers and staff, this caravan, composed of rescue vehicles, equipment, relief items and manpower, will strengthen our response to the ongoing operations,” Gordon said.

The caravan consists of a 10,000 literwater tanker, a food truck, an ambulance, a rescue boat, a Land Cruiser for assessment, and two 10-wheeler trucks for nonfood items. Part of the caravan are 500 sets of sleeping kits, jerry cans, and hygiene tarpaulins which benefit the stricken.

The caravan’s manpower consists of 17 persons, including a 5 man-water search and rescue ( Wasar) team.

PRC teams mobilized among houses, and among they had rescued are a monthold infant and a 14 day- old baby, and an 8-year- old girl from Gran Vitoria Lodge, Brgy. Pengue Ruyu, Tuguegarao.

Among the services PRC made available is providing hot meals to 2,193 persons.

“Our relief operations are real-time. We always ensure that aside from rescue, relief is provided after, for we know that under such circumstan­ces these people are hit hard and left with nothing,” Gordon said. Aside from rescue and food relief, PRC provided psychosoci­al first aid to the residents.

As Covid-19 is still a big threat in the country, PRC distribute­d 406 face masks to the affected communitie­s of the said regions. All relief operations are reviewed to lessen the risk of coronaviru­s for the communitie­s and PRC staff working on the field. “The Philippine Red Cross will pursue helping the affected until they get back on their feet. More help is definitely on the way,” Gordon assured.

In its overall relief operations nationwide, PRC was able to provide hot meals to 31,227 individual­s, including 5,149 face masks and 470 face shields. At least 570 families and 4,239 individual­s received hygiene kits and undergone hygiene promotion lecture. For its psychologi­cal assistance, PRC helped 1,973 individual­s, with 1,475 children benefiting from a child- friendly set-up and activities.

PRC resorted to multiple response and relief efforts. The Red Cross’ Disaster Management Services augmented its operations, marshallin­g all the organizati­on’s available services from rescue to response and relief, to help Cagayan and Isabela residents who are in hazardous situation after the onslaught of Ulysses and release of water from dams.

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