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MAASIN CITY (PIA) -- The city government here as well as the provincial local government unit, and the local Red Cross on Tuesday, April 12, raced against time in sending trained rescue personnel, equipment, and material assistance to disaster-stricken barangays in the city of Baybay.

A water tanker was sent by the city LGU in addition to the collected, assorted food and non-food items solicited from city employees and the people who responded to the city’s call for donations, said Lorainne Acasio of the City Information Office.

The provincial LGU dispatched 14 risk reduction personnel headed by Danilo Atienza, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management officer, bringing with them two rescue vehicles and an ambulance.

They also brought relief supplies to be given to affected families and individuals at 30 pieces each consisting of the following: collapsible tents, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, electric thermos, cooking pans, and cadaver bags.

The Philippine Red Cross - Southern Leyte Chapter led by Jonas Maco, chapter administrator, along with 10 volunteers delivered much-needed logistics like a food truck for hot meals distribution, water tanker, and ambulance to transport victims, and a first aid station to be put up at the evacuation site.

On Sunday, April 10, Tropical Storm Agaton, while remaining almost stationery in the seaboards of Eastern Samar, dumped excessive rains that loosened the soil and triggered landslides in various locations in Baybay City, killing people, destroying properties, and rendering hundreds missing.

Barangay Kantagnos of Baybay was the worst hit by the calamity as the killer mudslides happened twice, at 5 a.m. and at 10 a.m., reported Acasio, quoting Engr. Rhyse Austero, the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer of Baybay.

Out of 587 residents, there were only over 200 surviviors in Brgy. Kantagnos and as of 4 p.m., April 12, there were already 36 bodies recovered, while search, rescue, and retrieval operations were still ongoing, Acasio further reported. (LDL/MMP/PIA-Southern Leyte)