EU extends P7.8 million storm aid to PH

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 10 2019 01:19 PM

Rescuers bring shovels and pickaxes to excavate through soil and rock in search of victims of a landslide triggered by Tropical Storm Usman in Patitinan, Sagñay, Camarines Sur, January 1, 2019. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The European Union said Thursday it has allocated €130,000 or P7.8 million to assist Filipino families battered by Tropical Depression Usman over the Christmas holidays. 

The funding will support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in delivering relief items to 15,000 people in Albay and Camarines Sur, among areas worst hit by Usman, the EU said in a statement. 

The relief items include tarpaulins, blankets, sleep mats, hygiene kits, and access to clean water, it said. 

On top of this, 4,500 people identified as "most vulnerable" will receive cash grants so they could restart livelihood activities, the EU added. 

Authorities are validating 140 deaths after Usman spawned floods and landslides in the central and eastern Philippines, where the initial damage toll was pegged at P5.4 billion, said the national disaster agency. 

Some 162,000 individuals were displaced by the storm and 105 were injured, the agency added. Some 28 others remain missing.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week visited storm-hit areas and urged officials to build evacuation centers instead of using schools as shelters. 

About 20 typhoons and storms pummel the Philippines each year, killing hundreds. 

The deadliest in recent years was Super Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan), which left some 7,000 dead or missing across the Visayas in 2013.