RELIEF. The Philippine Red Cross food truck distributes hot meals to evacuees at Gingoog City Comprehensive National High School in Misamis Oriental province in this undated photo. Various parts of Visayas and Mindanao have been affected by continuous rainfall and flooding caused by the shear line and low-pressure area. (Courtesy of PRC Facebook)

MANILA – Amid the continuous weather disturbances caused by the shear line and low-pressure area, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is ramping up its relief and rescue operations.

As of Jan. 17, the PRC has provided hot meals to 16,722 individuals in the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Davao de Oro, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga City, Palawan, Northern and Eastern Samar, Misamis Occidental, Oriental Mindoro, Sulu and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental.

Families displaced by flooding also received drinking water, food and health kits in affected communities.

"Nagpadala tayo ng hot meals at malinis na supply ng tubig dahil ang mga ito ang pangunahing pangangailangan sa mga evacuation center. Naka-alalay rin ang ating volunteers, first aiders at Emergency Response Unit (ERU) para saklolohan ang mga nangangailangan ng agarang tulong (We have sent hot meals and clean water as these are the main needs in the evacuation centers. Our volunteers, first aiders and Emergency Response Unit are also on the field)," said PRC chair Richard Gordon in a news release on Tuesday.

The PRC Welfare Unit’s Child-Friendly Spaces held creative activities that involved 1,087 children in Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Palawan, while 1,914 adults in Zamboanga City, Lanao Del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, and Palawan underwent Psychological First Aid sessions.

The PRC Health Services distributed 490 doxycycline, a prophylactic agent used for the treatment of the early onset of leptospirosis, to frontliners and flooded villages in Misamis Oriental and Zamboanga City.

Meanwhile, 300,000 liters of clean water were distributed to Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga City through the PRC Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Unit.

The WASH unit likewise conducted hygiene promotion to 2,990 individuals in Agusan del Norte, Palawan, Misamis Oriental, and Misamis Occidental to guarantee the practice of proper hygiene among evacuees.

Meanwhile, volunteers mobilized rescue equipment to affected communities. (PNA)