US offers additional P37.3-M aid for 'Ompong' victims

US offers additional P37.3-M aid for 'Ompong' victims
The US Embassy's Deputy Chief of Mission John Law addresses media representatives, partners, and landslide-affected families in Itogon, Benguet. The US government, through the United States Agency for International Development, is providing P37.3 million in new assistance for families that lost their homes and livelihoods during Typhoon Ompong in Benguet and Cagayan provinces.
US Embassy / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The United States government will be providing an additional P37.3 million worth of assistance to families who lost their homes and livelihood in the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) last September.

This brings the total assistance of the American government to Typhoon Ompong victims ts P42.5 million, the US Embassy said in a media release.

Through the US Agency for International Development, the funding will provide six months of emergency home rental assistance for 375 families in Benguet who were displaced by landslides.

In partnership with World Vision, the funding will also be used to buy seeds for 1,400 small-scale farmers in Cagayan for them to plant new crops.

"The US government is honored to provide shelter, to support the reestablishment of livelihoods, and to walk alongside those in need on their road to recovery," US Embassy to the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission John Law said.

Law met families in Itogon, Benguet who were affected by the landslides, along with Mayor Victorio Palangdan, Manny Flores of the Diocesan Social Action Center and representatives from Catholic Relief Services.

Dozens were buried under the mud following a massive landslide triggered by the typhoon in the mining town of Itogon two months ago.

Washington was among the first to respond when the disaster hit northern Luzon, providing hygiene supplies for 5,500 people who were displaced in Cagayan.

The US government also initially provided 1,000 metric tons of food to disaster-stricken families in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development and the United Nations World Food Programme.

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

Typhoon Mangkhut is feared to gain strength as it approaches the Philippine area of responsibility. The tropical cyclone will be named "Ompong" once within the country's vicinity.

The United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center records that "Mangkhut" has maximum sustained winds of 80 knots or 148 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 185 kilometers per hour as of Monday morning.

Forecast track of the cyclone shows that it is heading toward the northernmost tip of the country's water off northern Luzon by Friday.

September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

The Department of the Interior and Local Government tallies 66 dead, 62 missing in wake of Typhoon Ompong, ONE News reports.

The department says it will also look into potential lapses in local governments' disaster preparations.

September 18, 2018 - 10:02am

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines clarifies Tuesday that a church reported to have collapsed in a landslide in Itogon, Benguet was an old bunkhouse that was being used as a place of worship by United Church Fellowship (Pentecostal Group).

The casualty figure on Monday was at 56 dead but the figure is expected to rise, with around 40 to 50 people believed to still be buried in the mud as search and retrieval operations continue.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who said he is a member of UCCP, on Monday played down President Rodrgo Duterte's remark over the weekend that the "church" would not have collapsed if people had replaced the priest there. He also said priests are stupid.

"Ang tingin ko naman po, hindi naman po seryoso ang presidente. Let's not take his words always literally," Roque said.

Benguet was one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) over the weekend.

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Philippine and Chinese authorities say the death toll from a typhoon has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.

Mangkhut weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning as it moved deeper into southern China, where rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

A Philippine national police report said the death toll as of Monday midday was 65, with 43 people missing and 64 injured. Chinese authorities reported four deaths from falling trees and building materials in Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub.

Many of the missing in the Philippines are gold miners and their families feared buried in a landslide after seeking shelter in a bunkhouse-turned-chapel in a village in Benguet province.

Mangkhut battered the northern Philippines on Saturday before slamming into southern China on Sunday. It was the most powerful typhoon to hit Hong Kong since 1979, packing winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Mangkhut has weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it moves deeper into China.

The storm was still affecting southern China's coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan on Monday morning and rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

Hong Kong residents were being told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales. Bus, ferry and rail services were suspended and almost 900 flights were canceled at the city's airport, one of the world's busiest. The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong's hospitals had to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 64 people. At least two deaths have been reported in China. As of Monday morning Mangkhut was on track to pass over the Guangxi regional capital of Nanning.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 16, 2018 - 12:35pm

Australia is providing A$800,000 (P30.9 million) worth of humanitarian supplies to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong. This includes sleeping mats, blankets and hygiene and shelter kits for up to 25,000 people in the most affected areas.

These supplies are being distributed by the Philippine Red Cross.

Australia also deployed humanitarian experts to the Philippines.

"Our Embassy is coordinating closely with Philippine authorities and our international partners... We stand ready to provide further assistance, if requested by the Philippine Government," the Australian government says.


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