AID FOR 'AMBO' VICTIMS. Relief goods transported by a military plane arrived in Catarman, Northern Samar in this May 16, 2020 photo. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Monday (May 18, 2020) said a total of 14,750 family food packs have been delivered for Typhoon Ambo victims in Samar provinces. (Photo courtesy of DSWD Region 8)

TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has initially delivered 14,750 family food packs (FFP) for Typhoon Ambo (international name Vongfong) victims in Samar provinces.

A total of 8,850 FFPs were distributed in Northern Samar and 5,900 packs in Eastern Samar over the weekend, said Joshua Kempis, DSWD Eastern Visayas disaster response operation division information officer in a phone interview on Tuesday.

Each food pack contains rice, coffee, cereal drink, canned sardines, and corned beef good for three to five days for a family of five members. These also include non-food items such as kitchen and sleeping kits.

Kempis clarified that DSWD gives relief goods only when a town requests for augmentation.

“The local governments are always the first responder in any disaster. When needed, we extend support by augmenting their supply,” he said.

Based on initial reports from local government units, 29,193 families were affected in Northern Samar and 33,715 in Eastern Samar.

The regional office has already requested some 40,000 additional FFPs from the DSWD Visayas Disaster Resource Center in Cebu City and is expected to arrive in the next days, Kempis said.

“As of now, we are still gathering reports on the total number of affected families. Our response teams are now on standby, ready to assist our local governments in the relief operations,” he added.

Ambo made landfall at 12:15 p.m. on May 14 in San Policarpio, Eastern Samar.

The typhoon packed maximum sustained winds of up to 155 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 255 kph.

The hardest-hit areas are the towns of San Policarpio, Jipadpad, Arteche, Oras, and Maslog in Eastern Samar, and Bobo, Laoang, Lope de Vega, and Mondragon in Northern Samar. (PNA)