THE death toll as a result of powerful typhoon ‘Ulysses’ yesterday rose to 53 with 52 others injured and 22 still missing as of press time, the Philippine National Police headed by General Debold M. Sinas said.
Of the 53 fatalities, 17 are from Cagayan Valley; 12 from Calabarzon region; 9 from Cordillera region; 6 from Bicol region; 6 from Central Luzon; and 3 from Metro Manila.
Of the 52 injured, 25 are from Region 5; 16 from Region 4-A; 9 from Region 3; and 2 from Cordillera region.
On the other hand, of the 22 reported missing, 8 are from Bicol; 7 from Cordillera region; 3 from Calabarzon; 2 from Cagayan Valley and 1 each from Metro Manila and Central Luzon.
A report to Gen. Sinas said that 133 policemen were also affected by the typhoon nationwide after their homes were flooded. However, there was no reported casualty on the part of the police force.
The PNP also reported that two of its buildings at the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region were also damaged along with one equipment.
As of yesterday, Sinas said his men are still leading the conduct of search, rescue and relief operations in devastated areas in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon which were swamped by floodwaters as much as 2-storey high in some areas.
As of press time nearly 118,000 affected residents have been rescued by the police, around 51,000 of them from Bicol; nearly 28,000 in Calabarzon region; over 20,000 in Central Luzon; and more than 16,000 in Metro Manila.
At least 1,000 policemen are now manning evacuation centers in hardly-hit areas.
Gen. Sinas ordered all Police Regional Offices and National Support Units stationed in Southern Luzon to muster all disaster-response capability for risk reduction and public safety operations in the affected areas.
He also ordered the prepositioning of PNP disaster response personnel, equipment and resources in perennial geohazard areas prone to flooding and landslides to implement forced evacuation of communities in these areas in coordination with Local Government Units and other agencies.
Likewise, the top cop instructed all local PNP units to provide assistance and security to evacuation centers and temporary shelters put-up by Local Government Units and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office authorities where PNP Food Bank resources were also prepositioned.
Gen. Sinas said hundreds of policemen have been deployed to Marikina City and Quezon and Rizal provinces to rescue residents stranded from their homes as rivers overflowed as a result of heavy continuous rains brought about by ‘Ulysses’ triggering flashfloods.
“There have been no reported incidents of looting,” said Gen. Sinas as he poured in more troops in the affected areas since Wednesday.
Sinas said that 7,187 PNP search-and-rescue personnel were deployed in the affected areas including 1,426 in Metro Manila to help residents trapped in their homes. The other SAR deployment include the following: 31 from Ilocos-Pangasinan region; 1,192 from Cagayan Valley; 1,114 from Central Luzon; 1,274 from Calabarzon; 76 from Mimaropa region; 1,163 from Bicol; 504 from Cordillera region; and 399 from PNP-SAF.
There were also at least 10,690 PNP SAR personnel put on standby and ready for deployment if called to action.
At least 1,212 policemen are also guarding different evacuation centers in hardest-hit areas. As of press time, there are at least 100,047 persons staying in 12,450 government-run evacuation centers in the affected regions.
The PNP said nearly 365,000 people were forced to leave their homes for protection from flooding and landslides. There were a total of 727 flooded areas in the affected regions as ‘Ulysses’ toppled trees, electric posts and power and communication lines causing massive power outages.
Police said it monitored a total of 1,095 areas without electricity and 115 places with no cellular phone signal and coverage. It also reported a total of 206 roads rendered impassable to all vehicles due to floodwater and other debris including fallen trees and huge rocks.
Over 1,500 passengers also remain stranded in major seaports in Luzon as 80 ships are yet to be given clearance to sail by authorities. Another 605 vehicles were also reported stranded in 201 roads which were submerged in floodwater rendering them impassable.
NDRRMC death toll: 33
Meanwhile, the latest update issued by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the death toll in the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses was 33 with several others injured and 20 missing as of Saturday.
According to NDRRMC spokesman Mark Timbal of the 32 verified and recorded fatalities, 15 were from Region II, six from Calabarzon, five in Region V, and six in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Of the 22 injured, three were from Region III, nine from Calabarzon, eight in Region V, and two in CAR.
Of the 20 missing, meanwhile, five were from Region II, two from Calabarzon, eight in Region V, and five from CAR.
The NDRRMC also reported that estimated agricultural damage in Regions I, II, III, V, Calabarzon, and CAR reached P968 million.
Meanwhile damage to infrastructure in Region I and MIMAROPA was pegged at P253 million.
A total of 3,013 houses in Region I and CAR were damaged.
Timbal said more than 3,700 personnel have already been deployed as of Saturday morning to rescue stranded individuals in Cagayan and Isabela who were affected by floods.
“We have 3,776 personnel deployed and conducting SRR [search, rescue and retrieval] to support the LGUs,” Timbal said.
Office of Civil Defense Region II Information Officer Michael Conag said the floods were caused by rains from Ulysses as well as the release of water at Magat Dam.
9 KILLED DUE TO FLOODING IN CAGAYAN
Nine persons were reported dead due to massive flooding in Cagayan.
This was according to Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba.
The latest fatality was a rescuer who got electrocuted from a power line of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
Many residents in the province had to stay on their rooftops for more than 24 hours due to the widespread flooding following heavy rains from Typhoon Ulysses.
The NDRRMC said rescuers have been doing their best to get stranded individuals. With Zaida Delos Reyes