For­eign aid pours in for Om­pong vic­tims

The Freeman - - NATION -

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.

A farmer in­spects his corn farm af­ter it was de­stroyed by Ty­phoon Om­pong in Cal­lao town, Ca­gayan province.

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

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