Manila, Oct 18: The Philippines government said Friday that state agencies are trying to speed up relief distribution to the victims of the earthquake that hit central Philippines earlier this week even as the death toll went up to 171.
Xinhua quoted Abigail Valte, the deputy presidential spokesperson, as saying that the government was doing “airlifts and sealifts for food drops to make sure that relief will reach the ones who need it.”
However, she acknowledged that there were places, especially in the central Philippines province of Bohol, which could hardly be penetrated by the rescuers because of damaged roads and bridges.
“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 in the powerful earthquake has climbed to 171 and that 20 people were still missing.
Most of those who perished in the 7.2-magnitude earthquake last Tuesday were from Bohol with 159 casualties, while 11 people died in Cebu province and one in Siquijor province.
Around 375 people were injured, the state agency added.