Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Philippine governor warns of looting without hurricane aid. AP News

MANILA, Philippines ( Associated Press) – The governor of a central Philippine province devastated by Typhoon Rai last week called on the government on Tuesday to send food and other aid quickly, warning that without outside help, army soldiers and Police forces have to be. Deployed to stop looting amidst increasing hunger

The governor of Bohol province, Arthur Yap, said he could no longer secure rice and other food aid after his contingency fund was exhausted, adding that many of the 1.2 million people in his island province were without electricity and cellphone service. Remained five days after the storm. , have become more desperate.

At least 375 people were killed and 50 others missing, mostly in its central region, in Bohol, the most powerful storm to hit the Philippine archipelago this year, according to officials.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Bohol over the weekend and witnessed widespread devastation. Yap said the government’s social welfare department has promised to send 35,000 food packs, an insufficient amount for the province’s 375,000 families, but even those have not yet arrived.

In an interview on the DZBB radio network, Yap thanked Duterte for visiting his province, but said, “If you won’t send money for food, you should send soldiers and police, because otherwise the looting starts here.” It will happen.”

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Yap said while most small business stores had some looting, the situation was under control. But he warned that if people, especially in hard-hit island municipalities, become more desperate, the looting could get worse. He said people cannot withdraw money from banks without cellphone connections and electricity and the lack of fuel and water has also led to long queues.

The National Police said large-scale looting was not a problem in the storm-hit areas and added that they were prepared to deal with any chaos.

Typhoon Rai packed sustained winds of 195 kph (121 mph) with gusts of 270 kph (168 mph) at its deadliest before drifting into the South China Sea on Friday. According to the National Police, at least 375 people were killed, mostly in falling trees and flash floods, with 56 others missing and 500 injured. But the toll could still rise as emergency teams restore communication and power to more towns and villages.

Nearly a million people were killed by the typhoon, including more than 400,000 who had to be taken to emergency shelters as the storm approached. Some have started returning home, but others have either lost their home altogether or need to make major repairs.

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Emergency workers were working to restore power in 227 cities and towns, officials said on Monday, adding that power has been restored in only 21 areas so far. Cellphone connections have been restored in at least 106 of over 130 cities and towns. The civil aviation agency said two local airports remained closed on Monday except for emergency flights, but most others have reopened.

Duterte said the government emergency fund has been used mostly for the coronavirus pandemic, but promised to raise 2 billion pesos ($40 million) from government agency savings to provide additional funding to hurricane-hit provinces.

The Philippines has not appealed for international help, but Japan said it was sending power generators, camping tents, sleeping pads, water containers and tarpaulin roofing sheets to hard-hit areas, while China announced it was sending 20,000 food items. Packed and providing rice.

About 20 tropical storms and typhoons hit the Philippines annually, which is also located along the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire” region, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are frequent, causing the Southeast Asian country to kill more than 100 million people. Makes one of the most people in the world. Disaster prone country.

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