POWERFUL typhoon Ulysses on Thursday night moved away from the country leaving a trail of destruction which killed at least 31 and injured 26 others, a Philippine National Police report said yesterday.
The PNP said that the fatalities are from Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon region, Bicol and Cordillera.
Of the injured, 8 are from Central Luzon, 9 from Calabarzon region, 8 from Bicol and 1 from Cordillera.
The PNP as of 9 a.m. yesterday also reported 24 missing persons: 1 from Cordillera region, 1 from Metro Manila, 7 from Cagayan Valley, 2 from Calabarzon and 4 from Bicol.
As of yesterday, PNP chief General Debold M. Sinas is still leading his men in 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 storeys high in some areas.
There have been no reported casualties on the side of the police force which fielded all available rescuers and resources in affected areas to help in search, rescue and relief operations.
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 in their homes as rivers overflowed as a result of heavy continuous rains brought about by Ulysses.
PNP spokesman Colonel Ysmael S. Yu said that the PNP Operations Center in Camp Crame at 3 a.m. yesterday reported that police in affected areas had already rescued more than 107,000 individuals.
They include 3,811 persons rescued by members of the National Capital Region Police Office; 158 by the Police. Regional Office 2; 23,469 by the PRO3; 26,321 by the PRO4-A; 50,952 by the PRO5; and 2,824 by the PNP Special Action Force.
“There have been no reported incidents of looting,” said the official as Gen. Sinas poured in more troops into 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.
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.
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 where Ulysses toppled trees, electric posts and power and communication lines causing massive power outages.
Police said it monitored a total of 875 areas without electricity and 159 places with cellular phone signal and coverage. It also reported a total of 206 roads rendered impassable to all vehicles due to floodwater and debris including fallen trees and huge rocks.