PNoy: Tacloban seemed unprepared for Yolanda


President Aquino stopped short of criticizing local officials in Tacloban for being unprepared for the coming of Super Typhoon "Yolanda," as he assured victims they will be provided for.

"Yung Tacloban, hesitant lang ako. Para bang hindi ganun ka prepared...compared to other areas...Siguro I will reserve comments muna at this point in time hangang mas makumpleto natin yung datos," the President said in a briefing at the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC).

He said that officials in most hard-hit areas did prepare for the coming of Yolanda, as seen from their low casualty count. But those who seemed unprepared will "have to explain" their casualty count. "Any casualty is an issue with me," the President said.

The President also said the government is scrambling to restore power and communications in provinces battered by Yolanda to effectively conduct relief operations. He also said another priority is clearing operations so relief goods can reach survivors.

President Aquino said 4 top Cabinet officials - Defense Sec. Voltaire Gazmin, Interior and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas, Social Work and Development Sec. Dinky Soliman and Energy Sec. Jericho Petilla - are making the rounds of typhoon-hit areas.

"Immediately, in coordination with the LGUs, mag-identify sila ng lupa...magconstruct ng temporary shelters...bunk houses...Yung DOH is assessing the health risks, may kulang ba ng tubig may polluted ba na tubig dahil may mga deaths. Yung upper respiratory infections, diarrhea, and the injuries that have to be treated right away."

He said he plans to visit the hardest hit provinces on Sunday.

Aquino also assured there was enough funds for relief efforts. There is a P1 billion calamity and contingency fund, the P6 billion Presidential Social Fund and about P16 billion in savings.

Besides that, countries like Israel and New Zealand have offered to help.

The NDRRMC also said the official death toll is at 134, of which 118 are in Leyte alone.

But the President admitted that the figure could still go up.

Also, ABS-CBN's Atom Araullo, who reported from Tacloban after being cut off for almost a day, said local officials expect the number of bodies that will be foud in Tacloban to reach at least 500.

Earlier, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said it received reports that more than a hundred people have been killed in Tacloban.

"At 5am we received a report from the station manager in Tacloban...100 dead lying in the street with 100 plus injured...They were requesting for medical evacuation...The station manager in Tacloban is a reliable source."

Tacloban in Leyte is believed to be one of the hardest hit by Yolanda.

Powerful winds and rains pummeled the city with storm surges flooding streets.

In Barangay San Jose, homes were flattened and trees were uprooted. Debris and bodies litter the streets.

Yolanda did not spare hospitals and medical centers in Leyte. Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Sec. Eric Tayag said they are deploying 3 tent hospitals there. The DOH also said it is sending additional medical teams to Leyte.

Tayag also said they are coordinating with disaster management officials on the burial of recovered bodies to prevent the spread of disease.

READ MORE: Over 100 dead in Leyte: CAAP report

Watch more news on the effects of Yolanda here.

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