‘Yolanda’ victims outside Tacloban still await relief
Aid may be flowing at an increasing rate into Tacloban City, but only a trickle of food and relief goods are reaching other areas in the Visayas that were ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda.
The monster typhoon cut a wide, straight path through no less than eight regions in central Philippines last week, leaving death and destruction the magnitude of which was unprecedented.
Tacloban is one of the hardest hit, and has become the center of attention for relief agencies and the media.
Aside from Eastern Visayas, the damage was also extensive in the Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and Caraga.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday that the death toll has reached 3,621.
The biggest number of deaths was in Eastern Visayas—3,422.
Calabarzon had 2 deaths, Mimaropa, 5; Bicol, 5; Western Visayas: 113;
Central Visayas, 72; Zamboanga Peninsula, 1 and Caraga, 1.
In Palawan, particularly, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) reported that relief goods in some municipalities quickly ran out and have not been replenished.
Neri Amparo, Senior Civil Defense Officer in Region 4-B said they need food, water and medicines.
Amparo mentioned Coron and Busuanga as the places that urgently need help.
Despite the shortage of relief goods, she said the national government was doing its best to “lessen the burden of the typhoon victims.”
“We cannot quantify as of this moment the need of the people because everyday there is an increase in the demand,” Amparo said.
Government estimates put the damage in Palawan at about 85.90 percent.
Based on the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) report, 13 people were killed, 35,736 individuals affected; 5,346 houses were damaged and 3,550 houses were destroyed.
The Palawan Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) said 20,308 families in 14 municipalities were affected by the storm.
On Friday, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte admitted that even in Leyte, government relief operations reached only 30 of the province’s 40 municipalities.
Valte said the 10 towns have not received relief goods because the trucks that were to ferry the goods did not arrive.
”We were expecting 10 more trucks to arrive in Tacloban yesterday. However, it was not able to arrive, so the carrying capacity for that particular hub for today remains the same, which is at eight trucks. Sixty sacks of rice per truck is going to cover 23, again, 23 municipalities of Leyte today,” she said.
Valte said that the authorities are studying other access points to reach the stricken areas.
She said relief “hubs” have been set up in Tacloban warehouse, Ormoc, and Guiuan hub in Eastern Samar.
Citing a report from Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Valte said 23 towns have been reached by resources in the Tacloban hub.
”All 23 towns were reached with a total of 692 sacks of rice with water and canned goods. This is equivalent to 11,072 food packs,” she said.
The Ormoc hub was able to distribute 4,372 family packs to seven towns, Valte said.
”We already had eight trucks yesterday at the Tacloban command center to be going around those areas with the needed relief to the towns,” she said.
Food packs and sacks of rice have also been distributed to other areas in Eastern Samar, as well as in Palawan, she said.