Disaster assessment teams deployed in ‘Ruby’-hit areas

The Typhoon Ruby Response Pillar of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has created Rapid Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (RDANA) teams to assess damages caused by the typhoon in Regions IV-B, VI, and VIII.

Aside from damage assessment, their tasks also include gathering of information on the hard-to-reach affected areas, to ensure that everybody is assisted.

Each team is composed of representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of Health (DOH), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), and Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), among others.

Earlier, the CARAGA-based Regional Disaster Response Team successfully conducted its RDANA in the provinces of Surigao Del Norte and Dinagat.

Regional teams are also currently undertaking RDANA in the provinces of Samar, Marinduque, Romblon, and other areas in Regions IV-B and VII.

Meanwhile, the Response Pillar announced that provision of relief support will continue until end of December 2014, especially food assistance for Eastern Samar which is the hardest hit area.

Early recovery initiatives such as repairs of damaged houses and construction of bunkhouses or temporary shelters will start before the year ends.

The Disaster Response Cluster had also prepared the timeline for a comprehensive relief and early recovery plan for all affected regions.

Meanwhile, to hasten the distribution of relief goods to families affected by Typhoon Ruby in Eastern Visayas, the DSWD has established a new hub at the National Food Authority (NFA) warehouse in Borongan, Eastern Samar to serve the hard-to-reach areas or isolated island-barangays in the province. Military trucks and choppers brought goods to these areas.

Initially, food packs good for three days were given to the families in the island villages.

Additional relief goods coming from DSWD-Field Offices XI and CARAGA has arrived in the Tacloban City relief hub to augment the food packs being repacked there.

In a press conference in Borongan, DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that DSWD is now assessing the need for the implementation of Cash-for-Work in the province to speed up the recovery of the survivors.

In other regions which were hit by ‘Ruby’, DSWD social workers have conducted rapid damage and needs assessment to determine other appropriate services that survivors would need to return to normalcy.

As of press time, some 7,818 houses were totally damaged while 34,854 were partially destroyed.

To date, 5,890 evacuation centers are still operational in all regions affected by ‘Ruby’ serving 325,463 families or 1.3 million individuals.

DSWD social workers continue to assist local government units (LGU) in managing these centers by distributing relief goods, providing hot meals, profiling of evacuees, and conducting play therapy for children.

The DSWD-Central Office also deployed staff to complement the Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in Regions IV-A and B, VII and VIII.#