Foreign aid pours in for Ompong victims
International aid has started pouring in as the Philippines recovers from the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, the strongest storm to hit in 2018.
The United Nations World Food Program said on Sunday that it is transporting 20,000 bags of rice for families affected by Ompong.
The sacks will be transported from the National Food Authority in Valenzuela to the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s National Resource Operations Center. The DSWD is the lead agency conducting relief operations.
The WFP will also participate in the Philippine government’s post-typhoon assessments to determine food security in the regions of Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the typhoon affected more than 250,000 people. Presidential adviser on political affairs Francis Tolentino, also the point person for Ompong, said more than 25 people are feared dead.
The number of casualties might still rise as recovery operations, especially in areas hit by landslides, continue.
A total of 63,769 families or 250,036 persons were affected by Ompong, according to the latest situation report made public by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council on Sunday morning.
Evacuation centers in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Cordillera, Ilocos, Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon are housing 34,169 families or 133,457 persons.
There remain 3,741 families or 14,826 who were affected by the typhoon but opted not to stay at evacuation centers, added the NDRRMC. Tolentino said most of the deaths due to landslides. Of the 25, twenty are from Cordillera.
The government has extended, through the DSWD, P9.04 million worth of financial aid to affected families. The NDRRMC also reported that a total of 141 areas in Ilocos, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Calabarzon, Cordillera and Metro Manila experienced power interruptions.
As of Saturday, 77 transmission lines were affected by the typhoon but 33 of these were already restored. State weather bureau PAGASA said on its final severe weather bulletin on Ompong at 5 a.m. Sunday that the eye of the typhoon was located at 570 km west of Basco, Batanes at 4 a.m. yesterday. Ompong is barreling towards Hong Kong and China coast.
Meanwhile, Australia is providing 800,000AUD or roughly P31 million in humanitarian supplies for emergency response for those affected by Ompong.
This includes sleeping mats, blankets, and hygiene and shelter kits which would be distributed to 25,000 people through the Philippine Red Cross. Australia has also fielded humanitarian experts, including a disaster risk reduction specialist from the Australia Assists program.
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE