The death toll from the onslaught of typhoon “Odette” has ballooned to 169 as more reports from police personnel on the ground reached the operations center of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Based on the 6 p.m. report of the PNP on Sunday, Dec. 19, most of the fatalities are from Central Visayas with 129 dead, followed by Western Visayas with 22.
A total of 10 people were reported dead at the CARAGA Region, seven in Northern Mindanao and one from Zamboanga Region.
A total of 50 people are on the missing list, 43 of the are in Central Visayas and seven at the CARAGA region.
PNP spokesperson Police Col. Rhoderick Augustus Alba said the report of casualties are still subject for validation.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported 31 fatalities. The agency said only four of them were confirmed to be typhoon-related.
Based on the PNP report, Central Visayas was the hardest hit in so far as casualties are concerned since 103 of the 107 reported injured due to ‘Odette” onslaught also came from the same region.
A total of 180,813 individuals from 68,116 families are still stating in almost 8,000 evacuation centers set up in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Only two regions in Luzon have reported to have set up evacuation centers—Police Regional Office 4B (Mindoro Occidental and Oriental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) and Bicol region.
Most of the reported evacuees are from CARAGA region with a total of 110,675 people from 51,277 families; followed by Central Visayas with 44,615 people from 9,872 families.
The rest of the evacuees are from Western Visayas with 12,271 people; Eastern Visayas with 7,681; PRO4B with 4,761 people; Northern Mindanao with 665 people; and, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region with 145 individuals.
Typhoon “Odette” unleashed strong winds that topped trees, electric posts and destroyed establishments; and heavy rains that flooded various parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Based on the PNP data, a total of 117 areas experienced heavy flooding, most of them are in CARAGA, Central Visayas and Western Visayas.
Power, Communication Outage
A total of 3,097 areas experienced power outage as a result of the flooding and toppling of electric posts and damaged power lines in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Almost all of them are in Eastern Visayas with 2,976. But more areas are expected to be included in the list as there are still areas which have not submitted full list to the PNP headquarters at Canp Crame.
On the other hand, the PNP reported that a total of 740 areas experienced lost signal, most of them also in Eastern Visayas.
Currently, there are almost 9,000 policemen deployed to secure evacuation centers, assist in search, rescue and relief operations, clearing of roads and in securing evacuation centers.
Comm lines restored
Meanwhile, PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said they have already restored the communications with PNP Units in areas affected by Typhoon Odette in Visayas, Mindanao.
“The PNP communication lines and supply continue to be operational in all Police Regional Offices, ensuring effective command and control to supervise and direct post disaster relief and rehabilitation operations,” said Carlos.
Carlos said both conventional and alternate communication systems remain operational to keep the PNP Command Group in touch with PNP Units thru the PNP Command Center.
“Lessons learned from the Yolanda experience taught us to continue to maintain conventional communication systems as back-up for modern digital telecommunications infrastructure,” he said.