BEIJING, Dec. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has declared a national state of calamity, 4 days after the year’s strongest typhoon passed through the country. Nearly 1,000 people are reportedly dead or missing, mostly in the country’s resource-rich south.
A price freeze on basic commodities was put into effect. And local governments were authorized to use their emergency funds for relief and rescue operations. The government sent sniffer dogs to the worst-hit provinces to help search for victims. Rescue workers have also requested heavy equipment to clear debris. Search and rescue efforts have been hampered in part because many residents are too stunned to assist.
The Philippine government urged people in evacuation centers to keep their temporary shelters clean to prevent the spread of diseases. Teams also arrived in disaster areas with water filtration systems. Local governments are coordinating with national agencies to speed up retrieval and clean-up operations to prevent decomposing bodies from causing any outbreaks of disease.