President Benigno Aquino 3rd debunked reports that the death toll from Typhoon Yolanda could hit 10,000.
Interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, President said the death toll from Friday’s typhoon may be lower than earlier estimates by local officials.
He said the local officials did not have basis for their estimates.
“Ten thousand, I think, is too much. And perhaps that was also brought about by …being in the center of the destruction…There was emotional trauma involved with that particular estimate quoting both a police official and a local government official,” Aquino said.
“They were too close to the incident. They didn’t have basis for it,” Aquino added.
He said government agencies need to reach 29 municipalities more to check the casualties.
“The figure right now I have is about 2,000 but this might still get higher. We are hoping to be able to contact something like 29 municipalities left wherein we still have to establish the numbers especially for the missing,” he said.
“But so far, 2,000 to about 2,500 is the figure we are working on as far as deaths are concerned,” Aquino said.
As of 7 a.m today, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council put the number of dead at 1,833, with 2,623 injured and 84 missing.
A total of 1,387,446 families or 6,937,229 were affected in 7,488 villages in 41 provinces.
Of these, 59,733 families or 286,433 people are staying in 993 evacuation centers.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE