The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has taken prompt humanitarian actions to help victims of the recent 7.2-magnitude earthquake hitting Visayas, central Philippines.

According to the latest press release of the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) and the ASEAN Emergency Rapid Assessment Team have coordinated with local agencies to make initial assessment and prepare relief stuff to assist the affected community.

AHA has so far shipped 250 family tents capable of hosting 1,250 people, and 250 household commodity kits to the site through the Disaster Emergency Logistics System for ASEAN, which was established with the support of the Japanese Government via the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.

Dela Rosa Alicia Bala, Deputy-Secretary General for ASEAN Culture-Social Community, underscored that it is high time for the association members to prove solidarity and sympathy. She affirmed that the grouping is ready to help the people of the Philippines overcome disaster consequences and recover.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council of the Philippines, more than 3 million people in the country were affected by the devastating quake. As of October 18, the death toll was 171. The disaster also left 375 people injured and forced 97,000 others to evacuate, the council reported.-VNA