POLICE K9 teams have been deployed to Maguindanao in southern Philippines to help in the continuing search and retrieval operations in communities that were affected by landslides and flash floods during the onslaught of Tropical Storm Paeng on Oct. 28.
As of Nov. 6, there were still 12 people missing with 11 in three towns in Maguindanao del Norte and one in South Upi, Maguindanao del Sur, based on data from the regional disaster management council.
There were 53 confirmed deaths and 38 injuries in the Bangsamoro region due to the typhoon.
The highest death toll was in the town of Datu Odin Sinsuat at 32 while 31 others were injured after upland mud and rocks practically covered an entire village.
National police chief Rodoldfo S. Azurin, Jr., in a statement on Monday, said the group that includes bomb-detection and rescue dogs flew out on Sunday.
They are specifically tasked to assist the local government and other law enforcement agencies in retrieval operations while other agencies are now focusing on relief and reconstruction efforts.
“Let us continuously serve as beacons of hope and vanguards of humanitarian action in the interest of national security and public safety,” Mr. Azurin said.
The entire Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has been placed under a state of calamity.
Regional government data show 570,285 individuals were affected. A total of 371 houses were totally destroyed and 480 others were partially damaged.
The cost of damage to infrastructure and agriculture was estimated at about P586 million.
Bangsamoro Minister of Interior and Local Government Naguib G. Sinarimbo said they will soon tackle recovery plans while relief operations are still ongoing.
“In a few days time, if there are no other disturbances, we will proceed to early recovery,” he said on Friday before another typhoon within the country weakened into a tropical depression. — MSJ