How to help people and families in areas hit by Tropical Depression Usman

January 2, 2019 - 3:22 PM
Camarines Sur relief operations Interaksyon
Relief operations in Camarines Sur. (Photo from Gov. Migz Villafuerte's official Facebook page)

Various organizations and celebrities called for donations for the victims of Tropical Depression Usman as relief operations begins.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported on Wednesday, January 2 that the death toll from the onslaught of Usman during the holiday season rose to 75, with 16 people missing despite search-and-rescue operations in landslide and flood-stricken areas in the Bicol region and Visayas.

The provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, which suffered casualties, were placed under a state of calamity. Casualties were also reported in Northern and Eastern Samar.

A state of calamity was also declared in the flood-hit municipality of Baco, Oriental Mindoro.

The local government of Camarines Sur has started distributing relief goods to families affected by Usman.

Around the Philippines, different groups and institutions called for donations and pledged their aid to the relief operations.

The Philippine Red Cross called for foodstuff donations such as bottled water, biscuits and instant noodles.

Humanitarian aid group Art Relief Mobile Kitchen and its partner groups released a call for donations on Wednesday.

Catholic non-profit social welfare group Caritas Manila also posted a call for donations and listed the channels through which the group could be reached.

Educational institutions pledged to assist in the relief efforts. The Ateneo de Naga University announced the start of a disaster response and relief initiative for the victims of Usman.

Recently-crowned Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray asked her followers on Instagram to donate to relief operations and initiatives.

Gray’s mother is a native of Oas Town in Albay, one of the affected provinces.

Holiday damage 

The agricultural damage from Usman reached P300 million according to the Department of Agriculture. 12,858 hectares of rice fields and 7,496 metric tons of produce valued at P267 million were damaged according to the agency’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Operation Center.

11-metric-ton actual volume loss and P604,000 worth of production loss for corn was also recorded by the agency.

The Taiwanese government offered financial aid for the Philippines’ relief and rehabilitation efforts after the onslaught of Usman.