Aerial view of the housing community in Baggao, Cagayan, where Typhoon Ompong, internationally known as Super Typhoon Mangkhut made its first landfall
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Death toll continues to rise as a result of the strong Typhoon Ompong.
Based on the 9:00 a.m. count from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Operation Center, the number of fatalities already reached 74.
The highest number was recorded in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) with 60 fatalities from the Itogon landslide. Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) followed with 10 deaths; Region 3 (Central Luzon) with 2 and National Capital Region (NCR) with 1 death recorded.
Meanwhile, the number of missing persons spiked to 55. The CAR marked the highest number with 52; two in Cagayan Valley and one in Metro Manila.
The number of injured persons counted to 74. From the said number, 42 was recorded in CAR; 17 in Cagayan Valley; 12 in Ilocos Region; 2 in Metro Manila; and one Central Luzon.
PNP Spokesperson Benigno Durana Jr. said the rescue teams are working round the clock to help the residents in affected areas. Members of the Special Action Force (SAF), meanwhile, are concentrated in assisting other rescue workers in the landslide area in Barangay Ucab, Itogon, Benguet.
“Sabi nga ng CPNP we will not lose hope and with your prayers, we will not stop until the last of our fellow Filipinos will be accounted for para mabigyan naman sila ng karapat-dapat na libing ng kanilang mga pamilya,” Durana said.
Police personnel is also hands-on in the repacking of relief goods as well as in the clearing operations in affected areas.
“Bahagi rin ang ating mga kapulisan sa repacking centers sa mga relief and distribution centers para makapagbigay pa rin po tayo ng mga dagdag na serbisyo sa ating mga kababayan lalong lalo na yung mga nasalanta ng bagyong Ompong,” Durana added.
The official also emphasized that the PNP is ready to help in the investigation of local government executives who may have neglected their responsibilities in the course of Typhoon Ompong should the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) request for it.
“Sa ngayon wala pa naman kaming natanggap na utos patungkol po doon. But if the DILG want us to be involved, definitely, because the PNP is also under the DILG,” he added. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Lea Ylagan)