Philippine governor warns of looting without typhoon aid

Dec 20, 2021, 10:22 PM | Updated: Dec 21, 2021, 1:11 am
Residents walk inside a damaged sports complex building on Monday Dec. 20, 2021 that was used as an...

Residents walk inside a damaged sports complex building on Monday Dec. 20, 2021 that was used as an evacuation center when its roof collapsed due to Typhoon Rai at Siargao island in Surigao del Norte province, southern Philippines. The governor of a central Philippine province devastated by Typhoon Rai last week pleaded on radio Tuesday for the government to quickly send food and other aid, warning that without outside help, army troops and police forces would have to be deployed to prevent looting amid growing hunger. (AP Photo)

(AP Photo)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The governor of a central Philippine province devastated by Typhoon Rai last week pleaded on radio Tuesday for the government to quickly send food and other aid, warning that without outside help, army troops and police forces would have to be deployed to prevent looting amid growing hunger.

Governor Arthur Yap of Bohol province said he could no longer secure rice and other food aid after his contingency fund ran out and added that many of the 1.2 million people in his island province, which remained without power and cellphone service five days after the typhoon struck, have become increasingly desperate.

The most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippine archipelago this year left at least 375 dead and 50 others missing mostly in its central region, including nearly 100 dead in Bohol, according to officials.

President Rodrigo Duterte visited Bohol over the weekend and witnessed the extensive devastation. Yap said the government’s social welfare department promised to send 35,000 food packs, an inadequate amount for the province’s 375,000 families, but even those have not yet arrived.

In an interview on DZBB radio network, Yap thanked Duterte for visiting his province but said, “If you would not send money for food, you should send soldiers and police, because if not lootings will break out here.”

Some lootings mostly of small merchandise stores have occurred, Yap said, adding that the situation remained under control. But he warned that the lootings could worsen if people, especially in hard-hit island municipalities, grow more desperate. People cannot withdraw money from banks without cellphone connections and power, and fuel and water shortages have also sparked long queues, he said.

The national police said widespread lootings were not a problem in the typhoon-ravaged regions and added that they were ready to deal with any lawlessness.

Typhoon Rai packed sustained winds of 195 kilometers (121 miles) per hour with gusts of up to 270 kph (168 mph) at its most lethal before blowing out into the South China Sea on Friday. At least 375 people were killed mostly by falling trees and in flash floods, with 56 others missing and 500 injured, according to the national police. But the toll may still increase as emergency crews restore communications and power to more towns and villages.

Nearly a million people were lashed by the typhoon, including more than 400,000 who had to be moved to emergency shelters as the typhoon approached. Some have begun to return home but others either lost their houses entirely or need to do major repairs.

Emergency crews were working to restore electricity in 227 cities and towns, officials said Monday, adding that power had been restored in only 21 areas so far. Cellphone connections have been restored in at least 106 of more than 130 cities and towns. Two local airports remained closed Monday except for emergency flights, but most others have reopened, the civil aviation agency said.

Duterte said government emergency funds have been mostly used for the coronavirus pandemic but promised to raise 2 billion pesos ($40 million) from government agency savings to provide additional funds to typhoon-hit provinces.

The Philippines has not appealed for international help but Japan said it was sending power generators, camping tents, sleeping pads, water containers and tarpaulin roofing sheets to hard-hit regions while China announced it was providing 20,000 food packs and rice.

About 20 tropical storms and typhoons annually batter the Philippines, which also lies along the seismically active Pacific “Ring of Fire” region, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions frequently occur, making the Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

The National Labor Relations Board's top prosecutor, Jennifer Abruzzo, poses for a portrait at Nati...
Associated Press

NLRB’s top prosecutor seeks big changes, faces uphill battle

As workers at major companies increasingly move to unionize, the political environment for labor couldn’t be more ripe. Perhaps nowhere is that more accurate than at the National Labor Relations Board, the agency that enforces the country’s labor laws and oversees union elections. In the past year, the Biden-appointed top prosecutor Jennifer Abruzzo has been […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Off-duty officer charged with assault at abortion protest

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island police officer accused of punching a woman at an abortion protest while he was off-duty has now been charged in connection with Friday’s demonstration at the State House. In a Saturday evening news release, state police said Providence patrolman Jeann Lugo, 35, was charged with simple assault and […]
8 hours ago
Associated Press

Iran launches rocket into space as nuclear talks to resume

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state television said Sunday that Tehran had launched a solid-fueled rocket into space, drawing a rebuke from Washington ahead of the expected resumption of stalled talks over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers. It’s unclear when or where exactly the rocket was launched, but the announcement came after satellite […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Wallace Reid purchases fuel for the vehicle he drives to make a living using ride-share apps...
Associated Press

Greedflation: Is price-gouging helping fuel high inflation?

WASHINGTON (AP) — Furious about surging prices at the gasoline station and the supermarket, many consumers feel they know just where to cast blame: On greedy companies that relentlessly jack up prices and pocket the profits. Responding to that sentiment, the Democratic-led House of Representatives last month passed on a party-line vote — most Democrats […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Wallace Reid purchases fuel for the vehicle he drives to make a living using ride-share apps...
Associated Press

Did corporate greed fuel inflation? It’s not biggest culprit

WASHINGTON (AP) — Furious about surging prices at the gasoline station and the supermarket, many consumers feel they know just where to cast blame: On greedy companies that relentlessly jack up prices and pocket the profits. Responding to that sentiment, the Democratic-led House of Representatives last month passed on a party-line vote — most Democrats […]
8 hours ago
Gabby Giffords, center, the subject of the documentary film "Gabby Giffords Won't Back Down," poses...
Associated Press

Giffords documentary comes as gun debates stay center stage

In the two years documentary filmmakers shadowed former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, the most jarring moment for them was in the kitchen of her Tucson, Arizona, home. As cameras were rolling, she and her husband, Sen. Mark Kelly, nonchalantly opened the freezer. Kelly grabbed a plastic container and revealed it holds the piece of Giffords’ skull […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Philippine governor warns of looting without typhoon aid