The death toll in Western Visayas rose to 158 with 43 still missing, after super typhoon Yolanda left the region with impassable roads, flooded areas, blackouts, limited communication resources, damaged infrastructure and agriculture, among others, police records show.
The majority of the victims were in the provinces of Iloilo and Capiz, while two were in Negros Occidental..
Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz, regional police director of Western Visayas, citing reports of its Regional Operations and Plans Division, said more than one million individuals were affected by the devastation, with 389 persons injured, and 10 rescued.
Cruz added that 1,118 policemen were deployed in the provinces of the region, for search and rescue, relief and clearing operations,
He said police personnel were distributed to man the 467 areas of deployment in the whole Western Visayas to conduct search and rescue for the missing victims; help in clearing roads of debris from fallen houses, uprooted trees and soil erosions to make them passable; provide security and public safety and prevent looting incidents on abandoned houses and establishments, and in repacking and distribution of relief goods.
Cruz added that 32,401 packs of relief goods have been distributed to affected families after the storm slashed through the region, and they are now in the relief and recovery phase.
A 24-hour Search and Rescue (SAR) Teams will be maintained in all units of the Western Visayas police, to ensure that the Philippine National Police will be able to react immediately and effectively to the situation, he also said.
Cruz said he also placed on standby investigators and SOCO teams for the identification and processing of cadavers, and has also alerted city and municipal police to secure establishments against looting incidents, and communications equipment for the Relief and Recovery Operations.
“Let us all be solution-oriented and not part of the problem.”
Meanwhile, the relief assistance released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office has reached P10 million and cover six provinces in Western Visayas.
Of the six provinces of the region, Iloilo received the most augmentation in terms of relief goods valued at P5.4 million; Capiz, P1.6 million; Aklan, P1.3 million; Antique, P792,130; Negros Occidental, P547,056; and Guimaras, P214,542.*GPB