MANILA, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government said Friday that concerned state agencies are exerting all efforts to speed up the distribution of relief assistance to the victims of earthquake that hit Central Philippines earlier this week.
Philippine Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the government was doing "airlifts and sealifts for food drops to make sure that relief will reach the ones who need them."
However, she acknowledged that there were places, especially in Central Philippine province of Bohol, which could hardly be penetrated by the rescuers because of damaged roads and bridges caused by the quake.
"So we really have to adapt and we try to do that as quickly and as fast as we can," she said.
Meanwhile, the latest data released by the Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed that the death toll from the powerful earthquake climbed to 171 and there were 20 people still missing.
Most of those who perished from the magnitude 7.2 earthquake last Tuesday came from Bohol with 159 casualties, 11 from Cebu province, and one from Siquijor province. Three hundred and seventy-five people were injured in the incident, the state agency added.