Thousands still in evac centersBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The floodwaters brought by Tropical Storm “Quinta,” which inundated more than 20 towns in Western Visayas, have subsided, but close to 14,000 families still remain in evacuation centers, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Saturday.
Undersecretary Benito Ramos, NDRRMC executive director, said various government agencies led by the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) were focusing on providing relief items to people displaced by the floods.
The official NDRRMC toll lists 12 people dead, two injured and two others missing in 44 incidents triggered by the storm.
Regional tallies are up to 17. Ramos explained that this may be because the NDRRMC “waits for the body to be recovered before declaring missing persons as dead.”
He said residents who fled to safer ground during Quinta’s onslaught had started returning to their homes.
The NDRRMC said 13,861 families composed of 72,697 individuals were still in 141 evacuation centers.
It said 43,612 families composed of 201,888 individuals in 433 barangays in five regions were affected by the 17th storm to hit the country this year.
Relief operations also continued for victims of the previous Typhoon “Pablo.”
The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yesterday distributed Christmas gifts to 3,000 families affected by Pablo in Compostela Valley.
PRC Chair Richard Gordon led Red Cross officials in distributing Christmas packs worth P1,000 each to residents of New Bataan and Monkayo towns.
Donations from abroad continued to pour in with private groups from Korea and Japan joining the latest batch of international donors.
Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman thanked Dole Korea and Itochu Corp. Japan in partnership with Stanfilco-Dole, a division of Dole Philippines Inc., and Kasilak Development Foundation Inc., a nongovernment organization accredited by the DSWD, for raising P3.2 million worth of relief goods for the typhoon victims.
With reports from Cynthia Balana, Philip Tubeza, Christine Avendaño and Tarra Quismundo