DSWD seeks Air Force help to bring aid to isolated Usman-hit areas: spokesperson

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2019 12:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 03 2019 02:23 PM

MANILA - The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is seeking the help of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to send aid to areas hit by Tropical Depression Usman that remain isolated, the agency's spokesperson said Thursday, four days after the weather disturbance left the country.

The storm left at least 85 people dead and 75,099 families displaced, but the government has yet to send help as some roads remain impassable, DSWD Spokesperson Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova told DZMM's Failon Ngayon.

"In-employ na namin ang tulong ng ating mga C-130 para makapagdala na kami ng goods sa mga lugar na hindi talaga maabot by land or by boat," she said.

(We have started using C-130 [cargo planes] to bring goods to places that cannot be reached by land or by boat.)

"Kung talagang hindi possible, gagamitin na namin ang mga choppers," she said.

(If it's really not possible [to reach remote places], we will use choppers.)

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The DSWD will also conduct a post-disaster evaluation to see why nearly 100 people died due to a relatively "weak" weather disturbance.

Tropical Depression Usman was downgraded into a low pressure area shortly after it made landfall in Eastern Samar.

"Hindi naman siya kalakasan so kung nagkaroon ng paghahanda o ng preventive evacuation, hindi sana magkakaroon ng ganito," Relova said.

(It was not that strong so if there was preparation or preventive evacuation, this would not have happened.)

As of January 2, rescuers have yet to find 20 people missing, while thousands remain in evacuation areas.