Floods caused by shear line-driven heavy rains that began last Christmas weekend have displaced hundreds of families and affected the provision of basic services including water, food and health in affected communities.

In line with this, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has ramped up its relief operations, alongside its rescue preparations, to assist flood-hit families in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Tuloy-tuloy ang pamamahagi natin ng tulong sa mga kababayan nating biktima ng baha sa Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao. Nagpadala tayo ng hot meals at malinis na supply ng tubig dahil ang mga ito ang pangunahing pangangailangan sa mga evacuation centers. Naka-alalay rin ang ating 143 volunteers, first aiders at Emergency Response Unit (ERU) para saklolohan ang mga nangangailangan ng agarang tulong,” said PRC chairman and chief executive officer Richard J. Gordon.

(We continue to distribute aid to our compatriots who are flood victims in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. We have sent hot meals and clean water supplies as these are the main needs in the evacuation centers. Our 143 volunteers, first aiders and Emergency Response Unit (ERU) are also on hand to help those who need immediate assistance.)

As of Jan. 17, the PRC had served 16,722 affected individuals in Agusan del Norte, Davao de Oro, Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Palawan, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Misamis Occidental, Oriental Mindoro, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova and Sulu with hot meals.

In addition to food, the PRC Wash (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Unit immediately mobilized its water tankers and water bladders to distribute 300,000 liters of clean water to Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga City.

The Wash Unit also conducted hygiene promotion to 2,990 affected individuals in Agusan del Norte, Palawan, Misamis Oriental and Misamis Occidental to guarantee the practice of proper hygiene among evacuees.

Meanwhile, 1,087 affected children in Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Palawan were able to participate in creative activities provided by PRC Welfare Unit’s child-friendly spaces, while 1,914 adults in Zamboanga City, Lanao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental and Palawan underwent psychological first aid sessions.

PRC Health Services distributed medicines and 490 Doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of leptospirosis, to frontliners and flooded barangays in Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga City.

The PRC has also mobilized its Red Cross 143 volunteers, prepared its rescue equipment and provided the following additional humanitarian aid to communities affected by shear line-induced rains since the Christmas weekend: hygiene kits to 361 families, sleeping kits to 472 families, non-standard food ration and bread to 238 families, jerry cans to 337 families, kitchen sets to 306 families, first aid services to 134 persons and continuous weather monitoring.