Feature: Displaced residents in Marawi conflict in Philippines hope to return home soon
MANILA, June 23 (Xinhua) — Casamudin Riga, a displaced Marawi resident temporarily sheltered in an evacuation center, is anxious about the situation of thousands of evacuees that fled the southern Philippine city over the ongoing fighting between government forces and militants allied with the Islamic State (IS).
"Our situation inside the evacuation center is not easy.
Fighting is ongoing, and civilians who are trapped or are displaced continue to face challenging situations," said Roberto Petronio, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Mindanao.
He said limited food and drinking water supply, as well as access to sanitation facilities, remain as the most urgent needs of displaced residents.
"The rainy season has started, and thousands are still scattered in evacuation centers, while many families have sought shelter with relatives," the ICRC said.
While evacuation efforts are underway, the ICRC said an estimated 300-500 people remain trapped inside the city.
The aid agency said efforts to secure a humanitarian corridor should continue to ensure the safe evacuation of the trapped civilians.
Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said efforts continued to clear Marawi of remaining armed terrorist that continued to pose pockets of resistance to the advancing troops.
There are also continuing efforts to rescue trapped residents "to include those held as hostages (and) recovery of civilian casualties or cadavers," Abella said.
"The Duterte administration is now preparing a comprehensive multi-year Marawi reconstruction plan," Abella said, adding that an inter-agency task force will be convened to make an assessment of the situation.