THE death toll as a result of super typhoon ‘Rolly’ rose to 28 yesterday with six others still missing as government agencies rushed to pour in more aid to over 232,000 displaced residents, the Philippine National Police headed by General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan reported yesterday.
Of the 28 recorded deaths, 23 are from Bicol region followed by four from Calabarzon region and one from Mimaropa region. The missing include four men from Bicol and one each from Mimaropa and Calabarzon regions.
There were also a total of 44 persons injured, 39 of them from Bicol and five from Calabarzon, said PNP spokesman, Colonel Ysmael S. Yu.
As of Thursday, the PNP said there are still 193 areas hit by ‘Rolly’ which remained without electricity. They include Albay, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and Sorsogon provinces and Naga City.
Power outage was also reported in eight areas in Calabarzon region; 184 in Mimaropa region and one in Metro Manila.
The entire Catanduanes province as well as one city and seven municipalities of Albay were also still without cell phone communication. The same problem was noted in 53 areas in Region 4-A; three in Cagayan Valley and 27 in Cordillera region.
There were also a total of 24 roads which remained not passable to vehicles, seven of them from Central Luzon; nine from Region 2; five from Cordillera reigon; two from Region 4-A; and one from Western Visayas.
The PNP also reported heavy infrastructure damage in affected regions, with the number placed at 13,953.
Of the total, the Police Regional Office 4-A reported 336; the PRO4-B a total of 22; and the PRO5 recorded the presence of 10 police stations in Bicol region which were partially damaged as a result of heavy continuous rains and strong winds brought by ‘Rolly.’
Overall, the PNP listed a total of 7,608 partially-damaged residential houses and 5,977 totally-damaged homes.
As of press time, Camp Crame said it has recorded a total of 57,440 families composed of 232,815 individuals displaced by ‘Rolly’ after they were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in government shelters and other evacuation areas.
Cascolan said there were also a total of 7,512 policemen affected by the typhoon, 4,540 of them assigned in Region 4-A; 215 from Region 4-B; and 2,748 from Region 5 in Bicol.
The PNP chief has dispatched more food and water supplies donated to the PNP by Good Samaritans, NGOs and other private groups as well as officers and men of the police force to areas in Bicol region still reeling from the devastation brought about by ‘.
Cascolan said their Food Bank has been activated to provide much-needed relief to Bicolanos displaced by the typhoon.
Yu however said there have been no reported incidents of looting across the country, crediting it to maximum police visibility in affected areas.
In Camp Crame, Police Community Affairs and Development Group director, Colonel Eric Noble said his team had already distributed 1,000 food packs, surgical masks, N95 masks and face shields to families in Camalig and Guinobatan, Albay who were severely affected by the typhoon.
Noble said they also turned over to the regional police force a total of 764 rice packs and 2,000 PPEs to help support the continuing relief operations in the region.
Apart from rescue and relief operations, police are also largely involved in the clearing of highways and major thoroughfares of debris and other litter.
“These operations are all set to allow smooth passage of emergency services, relief operating vehicles, and commercial cargoes,” said Yu.
On Monday, Cascolan visited Bicol and talked with PRO5 fficials led by Brigadier Gen. Bartolome Bustamante regarding their ongoing effort to help the affected residents.
The Bicol police force, in coordination with local government units in the different provinces in the region has already initiated pre-disaster cleanup and road clearing operations to ensure the unhampered flow of vehicles especially the delivery of basic commodities.
It also activated its Pulis-Kasurog Food Bank which aims to reach thousands of people by providing them with assorted relief goods and personal hygiene kits as they rebuild themselves after the wrath of a typhoon.
Bustamante said the entire PRO5 remains on guard to provide the necessary assistance to the Bicolanos.
PRO11 officers and men in Ilocos-Pangasinan region led by Brig. Gen. Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. also donated P100,000 worth of grocery items to the PRO5.
The supplies which include bottled waters and assorted canned goods now form part of the Pulis-Kasurog Food Bank which aims to provide relief goods and other essential items to the displaced residents.
The PRO2 in Cagayan Valley headed by Brig. Gen. Crizaldo O. Nieves also provided 160 sacks of rice for the Bicol residents.