Gov't agencies issue conflicting figures on Ulysses' death toll
Heads of various government agencies have issued conflicting figures as to the death toll due to Typhoon "Ulysses" that struck the country, including Metro Manila.
In the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) televised meeting on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that as of 8am, there were 12 people who perished.
When Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano made a report, he said the updated death toll was 14, while three were reported missing.
Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Gilbert Gapay, in the same meeting, reported that a total of 39 people were dead while 22 were missing.
Philippine National Police chief Debold Sinas reported 26 fatalities, 25 injured, and 12 missing.
Of those who died, Sinas said two came from the National Capital Region; seven in Cagayan Valley, three in Central Visayas; nine in Calabarzon; three in Bicol; and two in Cordillera Administrative Region.
Asked why various government agencies have discrepancies on the death toll, Ano, who was asked by Roque to answer, stood firm that 14 died while three were missing.
"The reported recovery of cadavers, we still have to validate that because some of them could not be typhoon-related. There could be those who were killed and they were just included in the (list) of typhoon victims. So, we have to validate if it is really related to typhoon," he explained.
The Interior and Local Government chief said his office and the local government units would do the validation.
Compared to Tropical Storm "Ondoy," which inundated Metro Manila and nearby areas in September 2009, Roque said the number of casualties under ''Ulysses'' is much lower.
He presented during the meeting that ''Ondoy'' with maximum winds of 62-88 kilometers per hour and affected the country, including Metro Manila, on Sept. 24-27, 2009, left 464 people dead, 529 injured, and 37 missing.
''Ulysses'' with maximum sustained winds of 118-220 kph and felt in the country, including the National Capital Region on Nov. 8-12, left 12 dead, eight injured, and 14 missing.
As of writing, the NDRRMC is still gathering updates from the field on the effect of Ulysses, which struck the country. Celerina Monte/DMS