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MANILA, Philippines – Super Typhoon Yolanda’s path of destruction has left government agencies with the gargantuan task of providing relief to the millions affected.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Dinky Soliman has instructed all DSWD Field Offices in regions affected by Yolanda (international codename Haiyan) to ensure the speedy distribution of family food packs to the victims.
“We have to move fast considering the extent of the devastation. People in the worst-hit areas need food, water and medicines,” she said.
As of 12 pm of Saturday, November 9, a total of 944,586 families or 4.28 million persons from Regions IV-A (CALABARZON) and B (MIMAROPA), V (Bicol), VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), VIII (Eastern Visayas), X (Northern Mindanao), XI (Davao), and CARAGA have been affected.
Out of the total, 71,623 families or 330,914 persons are staying in 1,223 evacuation centers.
Yolanda is the world’s strongest typhoon for the year and one of the most powerful to make landfall ever. It killed at least 100 people when it pummeled the Visayas, bringing heavy rain, and strong wind and storm surges. The full extent of the damage has yet to be known as power and communication lines are still down in many areas.
Looting has been reported in areas like Tacloban in Leyte as supplies run low.
The lack of power, communication and the destruction of roads and bridges have made relief efforts difficult.
DSWD has already provided P6.4 million worth of relief to the affected families in the Bicol region, Western Visayas and Central Visayas.
A total of 42,550 family food packs are now in the provinces worst hit by the storm, ready for distribution.
Around 25,000 food packs and 4,310 bottles of water are scheduled to be airlifted to the victims.
But more food packs will need to be delivered in the next few days. The DSWD is calling for volunteers to help repack family food packs at the DSWD-National Resource Operations Center (NROC) along Chapel Road in Pasay City and at the DSWD regional offices.
Individuals and groups who want to volunteer can call NROC at telephone numbers 851-2681 and 511-1259.
For more ways to help, click here. – Rappler.com