Gov’t issues conflicting reports on Ulysses death toll, Roque explains
MANILA, Philippines — Government officials on Friday came out with different reports on the Typhoon Ulysses death toll as the country reels from the effects of the typhoon that caused massive flooding in parts of Luzon.
In a televised press briefing, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año reported 14 typhoon fatalities, so far, while Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Gilbert Gapay, who heads the search, rescue and retrieval cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, reported 39 recovered bodies.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Debold Sinas, for his part, reported 26 fatalities.
Asked to explain the discrepancies in the data, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the official death toll as of Friday morning is 14, which he said is already verified by the local governments.
“Ang casualty po natin ngayon ay 14 as reported by Sec. Año. Kaya lang po nagkakaiba iba ang figures dahil subject po ito sa local government confirmation,” Roque said.
(The death toll is 14. There are different numbers because the figures are still subject to local government confirmation.)
“Bagamat tatlo pong numero ang sinabi ngayong araw, ang controlling po ay LGU verified,” he added.
Ulysses, the 21st cyclone storm to hit the country this year, triggered massive flooding in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon on Thursday.
The typhoon struck areas in Luzon which had barely recovered from the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni), the strongest storm in the world this year, which killed at least 25 people and destroyed thousands of residences earlier this month.
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