By Yas Ocampo
The International Committee of the Red Cross said that food and water remain a priority need for the nearly 100,000 internally displaced people and around 3,700 estimated residents still inside the city.
This was among the updates of the ICRC for its second statement on their operations in the area as of May 31.
According to the e-mailed statement, damage to civilian properties was evident in Barangay Basak Malutlut where the hostilities started, and in Barangay Banggolo and Mindanao State University commercial center.
Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced by the fighting in Marawi, based on the latest update from the regional authorities.
Majority are scattered in different evacuation centers and have been receiving some form of aid, though much more is needed particularly for food and potable water. Another challenge is to reach the many displaced families who have sought shelter with relatives, who also have needs.
The ICRC added that the displaced families have limited food and clean water supply.
It said that some evacuation centers are underserved due to the surge in number of displaced people and limited personnel, according to the regional authorities.
Some areas on the west and east side of Lake Lanao are not served at all, it added.
This is worse for those still trapped inside the city.
“They have limited access to food, water and healthcare, and risk serious danger to their lives as the fighting enters its 10th day.
“There is a serious concern that some of these trapped residents are being held by armed men against their will,” the ICRC said.
“Those who try to leave Marawi City often do not have means to move out of the city and rely on relatives, authorities, or aid organizations such as the Red Cross,” it said.
Around 1,500 families, or around 7,500 people, have been given hygiene and household items at the Saguiaran evacuation center in Lanao del Sur.
At the provincial capitol, the ICRC also provided a supply of clean water for around 450 evacuees by installing a 5,000-liter water bladder in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross chapter in Iligan.
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