MANILA, Oct 31 (Mabuhay) — Tropical Storm Paeng has so far affected 277,383 families or 932,077 individuals in 2,455 barangays in 14 regions in the country, according to the latest update of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday.

Portions of Aguinaldo Highway in Bacoor City, Cavite remain flooded on Sunday (Oct. 30, 2022). Tropical Storm Paeng hit the province hardest the night before, with Silang and Noveleta incurring the most damage. (MNS photo)

These communities are in Regions 2 (Cagayan Valley), 3 (Central Luzon), 4-A (Calabarzon), 4-B (Mimaropa), 5 (Bicol), 6 (Western Visayas), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula), 11 (Davao), 12 (Soccsksargen), Caraga, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

As of this posting, 44,847 families or 168,453 persons are in 2,125 evacuation centers while the remainder are being helped by relatives or friends.

Reported deaths are placed at 48 along with 40 injured and 22 missing. Confirmed and validated deaths are 37 – 33 in BARMM, two in Soccsksargen and two in Western Visayas.

Still undergoing validation confirmation are reports of 11 deaths–seven in BARMM, two in Region 8, one in Region 12, and one in Region 5. Confirmed injuries were placed at two in Region 12.

While undergoing confirmation are 40 injuries– 31 in BARMM, three in Region 8, and four in Region 5.

The NDRRMC also reported four confirmed missing persons in BARMM while still undergoing confirmation are reports of six missing also BARMM, three in Region 12, eight in Region 8, and one in Region 5.

A total of 714 houses were reported damaged in Regions 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, Caraga, and BARMM. Partially damaged houses were 555 while totally damaged houses were 159.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Army (PA) said its disaster response units (DRUs) are on standby alert for humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions following the onslaught of Paeng.

“The Army leadership prepared 21 DRUs, two urban search-and-rescue (USAR) teams, three aircraft, and 12 military trucks that would readily be deployed to various Unified Commands in nearby areas and provinces for rescue and relief operations,” PA spokesperson Col. Xerxes Trinidad said in a statement Sunday.

Gov’t response

PA chief Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr. made sure of the functional preparedness of the Army’s DRU teams in assisting the Filipinos in typhoon-affected areas.

“The Philippine Army is prepared and ready to give service when needed. The sacrifices of the Army troops are for the Filipinos and the country,” he added.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said the agency together with the Philippine National Police and the Bureau of Fire Protection are all hands on deck in working with local government units in ongoing disaster response efforts.

Abalos also said the DILG is also working with concerned national government agencies to respond to affected families and mitigate the loss of lives and damages to property.

“Further, the Department is closely coordinating with the Ministry of the Interior and Local Government of the BARMM which is now under a state of calamity to help them access their calamity funds to provide assistance to the affected families,” he added.

On Saturday, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said 34 road sections in Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, BARMM, CAR, Calabarzon, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Bicol, and Soccsksargen were closed due to rockfall, soil collapse, road cut, road slip, mud flow, and damaged bridge approach, among others, the DPWH said.

The DPWH had deployed 412 pieces of equipment and 2,890 personnel at the height of the storm.

The weather bureau said Paeng exited the landmass of Luzon and is now over the West Philippine Sea. (MNS)