With hundreds of individuals trapped in their homes due to massive flooding caused by typhoon “Ulysses,” the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday tapped the uniformed service to immediately rescue victims who showed their predicament through social media posts and direct requests.
NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal said they have received more than 90 requests for rescue from residents all over Luzon and some parts of Visayas after they were forced to climb to the roof or upper floors of their houses when floodwater started to reach the lower portion of their homes.
“If we talk about search and rescue, it’s a race against time. Mayroon po tayong mga kababayan na nasa bubong simula kanina pang madaling araw at ito ang pinipilit nating maabot at ma-i-alis sa locations nila lalo na ‘yung vulnerable populations like mga bata, buntis, at senior citizens,” Timbal said in a virutal media briefing.
According to Timbal, a total of 363 national search and rescue teams composed of over 1,000 uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Philippine National Police (PNP), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) were deployed to augment the capabilities of the affected local government units.
“Ang ating nire-rescue ay nasa dangerous situations kaya doble kayod sa bilis ang ginagwa nila para hindi lalong manganib ang ating mga kababayan habang tumatagal,” Timbal said.
Social media was flooded by requests from netizens who reported their dire condition amid the onslaught off typhoon Ulysses.
One Kaycee Capili posted a photo of her sister-in-law’s house which was already breached by floodwater in Barangay San Roque, Marikina City. She asked for a rescue team who could help her sister-in-law and their four puppies who got wet from the rain while waiting for rescue on top of their roof.
Meanwhile, a certain Madonna Solis asked for help to rescue her uncle who recently got out of the hospital and trapped in his home in Dona Petra, Tumana, Marikina.
On the other hand, Mark Angelo Cagampan thanked search and rescue personnel from the AFP and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority who saved his friend, Gilliane de Gorostiza, two other house companions, and a dog in Provident Villages, Tanong, Marikina City.
Photos shared by Cagampan showed flood reaching the base of the roof his friend’s house.
Timbal said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad conducted an aerial inspection in areas that were heavily affected by the typhoon to assess the damage.
Timbal said they were verifying information from the ground about the possible Ulysses-related casualties.
He said they received a lone report of casualty while four others wer reportedly missing in Camarines Norte.
Earlier, the Office of Civil Defense in Bicol Region (OCD-5) said two people were already killed, 4 went missing, and eight others were injured amid the onslaught of Ulysses.
“We have to determine the actual circumstance of the death kasi baka natagpuan ngayon but was already missing pa during the time of [super typhoon] Rolly. These are still being verified,” Timbal said.
A total of 53,752 families or 196,696 persons were pre-emptively evacuated in the regions affected by typhoon Ulysses including Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4A), Mimaropa (Region 4B), Bicol (REgion 5), and Eastern Visayas (Region 8).
Timbal added that 1,632 passengers in Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas were stranded in sea ports, as well as 159 rolling cargoes and three motorbancas.
A total of 82 cities and municipalities in Calabrzon, M<imaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas (Region 6), Eastern Visayas, and Metro Manila were also affected by water and power interruptio,
Meanwhile, 67 road sections and 27 bridges were not passable due to flooding, landslides, mudslides, and rock collapse in the Cordillera region, Ilocos (Region 1) Cagayan Valley, Eastern Visayas, and Metro Manila. Two soil erosions were reported in Cagayan.