Social welfare dept monitors needs of more than 23,000 affected by ‘Auring’ in Caraga region

Tropical Cyclone Auring, which has weakened into a low-pressure area, has affected 5,423 families or 23,121 individuals in 89 barangays in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands in the Caraga region, the social welfare department reported on Monday afternoon.

'Auring' has displaced 5,371 families or 22,879 persons, 4,745 families or 20,429 individuals of whom are taking shelter in 117 evacuation centers, the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), said in its 1 p.m. report.

The DSWD said it continues to monitor the status of the affected families in evacuation centers through its field office in CARAGA to ensure the continuous provision of assistance. The department has also activated its Quick Response Teams (QRTs) in the provinces of Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental, along with the action teams stationed in every city and municipality to monitor the possible effects of 'Auring'.

It has prepositioned food and non-food items in the provinces.

To date, the department has extended PHP801,108 worth of relief assistance to the affected families, with PHP779,572 coming from local government units (LGUs).

"Based on reports that we have received, concerned LGUs still have the capacity to meet the needs of their constituents affected by 'Auring'. Nonetheless, the DSWD is ready to provide augmentation support when needed," Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said.

"We want to make sure that all the prepositioned relief goods and other materials we have to help tide over our affected 'kababayans' are utilized. It is important that these resources be turned over as soon as possible to those who need them. After all, it is easy to replenish the family food packs, etc. -- so there really is no excuse to keep our 'kababayans' waiting for the assistance," she said.

Despite its weakening, 'Auring' is expected to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over the Bicol region and Samar.

Taguiwalo reminded residents of these areas to coordinate with their communities' disaster agencies as flash floods and landslides are still possible.

"We call on the public to continue to coordinate with their LGUs and to pay attention to all warnings issued in order to ensure their safety. As is the case with previous disasters, our goal is to have zero casualty," she said.

Source: Philippines News Agency