By Audrey Morallo (philstar.com) | Updated December 20, 2017 – 9:21pm
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese embassy in Manila turned over on Wednesday around P5.1 million in aid to help the victims of Tropical Depression Urduja (international name: Kai-tak) which killed scores of people and damaged a swath of communities in the Visayas.
In a statement, China’s embassy said Counsellor Sun Yi turned over P5.1 million in humanitarian aid on behalf of the Red Cross Society of China to Oscar Palabyab, secretary general of the Philippine Red Cross.
Sun said China was looking forward to providing more aid to strengthen the country’s disaster relief efforts to overcome the damage caused by “Urduja” and help those affected return normalcy in their lives.
“Urduja” pummeled the Visayas in recent days and left 46 people dead with dozens more missing after several communities were hit by massive landslides.
Twenty-eight people remain missing, according to emergency officials, and 21 of them were last seen in Biliran while the rest were in Eastern Samar.
The Department of Agriculture said the storm damaged P400 million in crops in the areas affected by “Urduja” in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
The storm also cut the power supply in many areas in the affected regions and rendered critical roads and bridges impassable.
READ: LPA develops into Tropical Depression Vinta; Signal No. 1 up in 2 areas
The province of Biliran and the local governments of Kananga, Tanauan, Carigara, Ormoc and Tacloban in Leyte are now under state of calamity, giving them access to emergency funds for relief operations and freezing the prices of basic goods in the said areas.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said those who would like to donate might coordinate with them or deposit their money in its dollar and peso savings accounts.
Palabyab expressed sincere appreciation for China’s goodwill and generosity. The Red Cross official said China had always been the first to respond and provide help to the Philippines and its people in times of difficulty.