MANILA - Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana said over 6,800 military personnel have been deployed in several provinces devastated by typhoon Odette to help bring relief goods and take part in clearing operations.
In a report presented to President Rodrigo Duterte Monday, Lorenzana said a total of 6,886 military personnel have been deployed 5 regions. Of this number, 2,857 personnel were deployed to Region 13, particularly in Siargao and Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Norte. Over 1,900 were also deployed in Palawan, 1,172 were deployed to Regions 6 and 7, while 937 were deployed to Samar and Leyte.
A total of 27 military aircraft from the Philippine Air Force are also helping transport relief goods and other essentials to affected areas.
Military aircraft have so far transported a total of 202,405.5 pounds of goods and equipment. A total of 324 stranded individuals have also been transported.
A total of 15 ships were also deployed, with the BRP Ang Pangulo being used as a field hospital in Siargao Island.
"Medical services through the BRP Ang Pangulo. Ito ngayon nasa Siargao ito, to help these people there," Lorenzana said.
Lorenzana also said the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) has deployed a mobile kitchen in Cebu, while its carpentry teams were deployed to Southern Leyte to help in the reconstruction of houses and other facilities.
The death toll from one of the most destructive typhoons to hit the Philippines in recent years rose to 388 on Monday, the government said, as disease outbreaks threatened some of the stricken areas.
Typhoon Odette (international name Rai) struck the south and center of the Asian nation on December 16 and 17, toppling power lines and trees and unleashing deadly floods that also left hundreds of thousands homeless.
The civil defense office in Manila raised the death toll from Rai to 388 with 60 others missing and hundreds injured. Police previously put the death toll at 375.
Civil defense officials said more than four million people were receiving typhoon aid in 430 cities and towns where about 482,000 houses were damaged or destroyed.
More than 300,000 people remain in evacuation camps, with more than 200,000 others sheltering in the homes of relatives or friends. - with a report from Agence France-Presse