At least 190 now dead in Western Visayas

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Western Visayas now reports 190 dead as relief is hampered by bloated figures for financial assistance

DEVASTATION. A barangay hall swept by winds caused by typhoon Yolanda in Iloilo. Photo by AFP/Tara Yap

MANILA, Philippines – Police records show that least 190 are dead in Western Visayas following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), with areas left without food, water, communications, or shelter.

Of the 190 casualties, 102 victims were from Iloilo, while other casualties were reported in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and Negros Occidental.

The Office of Civil Defense 6 (OCD6) reports that 2,065,005 people were affected in the region. Citing OCD reports, Western Visayas Police Chief Supt. Agrimero Cruz noted 123,603 families left homeless by the storm and P326,818,351 in damages to agriculture and infrastructure, including 132,887 partially destroyed homes.

P161,689,087 was the estimated amount of damage to agriculture, fisheries, and livestock. According to Provincial Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan, damage to crops and fisheries in Negros Occidental were estimated at P107,166,548. Provincial Veterinarian Renante Decena said poultry and livestock losses came in at P54,522,539.

Bloated Numbers

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWD) also had to step in with bloated figures, following an announcement from the Negros Occidental provincial government regarding financial assistance for those with destroyed homes.

PSWD officer Liane Garcia said they discovered figures for the number of destroyed and damaged houses by the storm appear bloated, requiring them to verify their figures before they financial assistance can be given.

PSWD records showed 11,083 houses were destroyed, while 42,955 had been partially damaged, affecting 79,478 families. Figures submitted per barangay, however, show numbers greater than their PSWD records.

Negros Occidental’s provincial government had to lessen the amount of financial assistance to owners, with P5,000 in financial assistance for homeowners reduced to P3,000.

Deployment and Support

The Police Regional Office (PRO) has deploymed 2,647 policement to 6 provinces in the region to assist in road-clearing, rescue and retrieval, and security patrol operations. Investigators and Scene of the Crime Officers (SOCO) are also on standby to process cadavers.

In terms of support, the Western Visayas police will have 24-hour Search and Rescue Teams on hand to address any emergencies that come up.

88,541 packs of relief goods have also been distributed to typhoon victims in the region. Despite this, Western Visayas Police Chief Cruz said more relief goods, notably food, water, medicines, and clothing, are still needed to aid the people in the area. –

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