Flashflood death toll up to 497, Red Cross Chairman Gordon visits Mindanao
Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard J.Gordon and his team leave for Mindanao Monday (Dec 19), to personally assess the aftermath of the flashflood that claimed 497 lives in eight affected areas as of Sunday morning.
Gordon will visit two worst hit areas, Cagayan De Oro City with 215 dead and Iligan with 195. Other areas with casualties were Bukidnon, 47; Compostela Valley 5; Zamboanga Del Norte, 3; Lanao del Norte, 9; Surigao Del Sur; 1 and Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, 22.
The Red Cross also reported earlier 202 injured and 162 others missing.
Gordon expressed Red Cross' concern over the plight of the thousands of families whose lives were shattered, especially with the coming Christmas Season.
Gordon said Mindanao is not usually a typhoon prone area and residents were caught unprepared, mostly shocked by the flashfloods that swept away their belongings and source of livelihood such as crops and live stocks.
While floodwater has subsided, many families still remained at the evacuation centers while they try to fix and clean their damaged homes from thick mud.
PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said, Red Cross is appealing for help from corporate partners so they can provide more family Christmas packs for the affected residents. Each pack should include priority needs such as food, clothing, sleeping materials, blankets and school supplies and footwear for the children.
Nearly 500 staff and Red Cross 143 volunteers deployed in the field are now conducting assessment of the situation and providing hot meals to the evacuees.
The Red Cross has set up welfare desks and first aid stations at the evacuation centers to look after the affected families.
Red Cross welcomes donations in cash for its continuing relief and recovery efforts. Send your donations to PRC headquarters in Manila or to any affected Red Cross chapters. Red Cross hotline is 5270000.