Albay running low of relief goods; 5 fishermen missing in Catanduanes

DISASTER authorities in Albay are getting bothered that relief assistance to thousands of evacuees might run low because of the expected prolonged moderate to heavy rains in the next three months due to La Nina.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the 16 days of uninterrupted rains pelting the proince have started to disrupt livelihoods thus increasing the required food assistance particularly to fishing, upland and farming households across the province.

Nathaniel Servando operation chief of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) forecast the northeast monsoon and the tail-end of the cold front would continue to bring moderate to heavy rains in southern Luzon including Bicol until March this year.

Salceda said the present extreme weather condition once it continue to prevail in the next two months would seriously deplete various local government units calamity fund. “The longer we maintain villagers in various evacuation camps the more food requirements are needed.”

Relief operations by the Philippine Army, Air force and Navy have been going on in towns of Manito, Sto Domingo, Malilipot and Bacacay.

He said evacuation as of today has reached 7,741 or 37,000 people affected by landslide and flooding in the towns of Daraga, Libon, Camalig, Jovellar, Manito, Sto. Domingo, Bacacay, Malilipot and this city.

Based on the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) the prolonged rains that is pelting the province has economically displaced 21,154 households and the demand for food assistance have been escalating.

Salceda cited the skyrocketing demand for food assistance requested by the towns of Libon and Oas where unevacuated villages are demanding for food for reasons they could not work in the farms and earn a living because of the rains.

Salceda said he has already requested President Benigno Noynoy Aquino III through the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) for augmentation funds to sustain the relief assistance to thousands of evacuees housed in various evacuation camps in Albay.

He said in Cagararay Island during a relief goods distribution by the Philippine Air Force (PAF) “apparently hungry” residents swooped down on the food rations intended for evacuated households.

Meanwhile, In Catanduanes, search and rescue operation is still on-going for the five fishermen reported to be missing since Wednesday, the Catanduanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said today.

The missing fishermen were identified as Ranie and Ricky all surnamed Villar, and Joseph, Litoy and Jerry all surnamed Soledad native of barangay Cadarao, Panganiban town in Catanduanes.

Gregorio Angeles, ABC provincial federation president in his report to the PDRRMC the five fishermen on board two banca went fishing on Wednesday at the light tower off the water of Panay Island, they were expected to return in the early morning of Thursday.

The report of the missing fishermen, prompted the PDRRMC to conduct a search and rescue operation. PNA

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