(MNS Photo)

MANILA, Dec 18 (Mabuhay) — At least 12 were reported dead and seven were missing as typhoon Odette swept across parts of Visayas and Mindanao leaving a trail of devastation, initial reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

In a briefing Friday presided by President Rodrigo Duterte, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said a total of 84,674 families or 338,664 individuals have been evacuated in Mimaropa, Regions 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and Caraga.

Jalad said the authorities are also validating reported deaths in Siargao  Island as reported by Surigao del Norte Governor Lalo Matugas.

Based on the initial report, six deaths were recorded in Region 6 due to fallen trees and drowning, while seven were missing.

Four deaths were also reported in Region 7.  Bohol, Cebu and Negros Oriental experienced power and signal interruption.

Jalad said there was also one casualty in Region 8, and one death in Region 10.

He said there were also no monitored landslides in the affected areas during the onslaught of Odette.

“There were no reported landslides which in the past typhoons are big contributors of casualties, but hopefully in the next few days in the conduct of the assessment of our LGUs (local government units) and regional government agencies involved, there will be no more casualties reported,” he added.

Jalad said the authorities are also validating reported deaths in Siargao Island as reported by Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco “Lalo” Matugas.

“Based on information from the governor of Surigao del Norte, there are two deaths reported in the island of Surigao but that is also being validated as of now,” Jalad said.

Jalad said that the terminal in Siargao is also damaged, however, the runway is usable.

President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Friday night that he would visit the provinces ravaged by super typhoon Odette to see the condition of the people and overall situation in the areas.

Calls for help

Earlier in the day, NDRRMC said it received a total of 95 requests for assistance from various regions at the height of the typhoon’s battering.

In a press conference, NDRRMC operations center chief Joe-mar Perez said that most of the requests came from Cebu with 48.96%.

This was followed by Negros Occidental (14.58%), Bohol (13.54%), Negros Oriental (7.29%), Southern Leyte (4.17%), Surigao City (4.17), and Surigao del Norte (1.04%).

“Naka-receive kami ng maraming calls, referrals. As we monitor ‘yung social media, a total po of 95 ang aming nakuha (We received many calls, referrals. As we monitor social media, we got a total of 95 requests),” he said.

Their concerns were coordinated with local governments and agencies. However, Perez said responders have to wait for the go-signal when it is safe to proceed to the affected areas.

In a statement, the Armed Forces of the Philippines said it is working with the NDRRMC in disaster response operations such as evacuations, search and rescue, clearing, and transport assistance.

“Air and naval assets are also on call and ready for deployment to support the national and local disaster risk reduction and management councils and other response clusters,” AFP spokesperson Colonel Ramon Zagala said. (MNS)

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