READY FOR RESCUE. PNP Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas (2nd from right), oversees the deployment of police personnel for search and rescue operations in Marikina City on Thursday (Nov. 12, 2020). More than 25,000 police officers were deployed to assist in search and rescue operations in areas hit by Typhoon Ulysses. (Photo courtesy of PNP PIO)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief, Gen. Debold Sinas, on Thursday, ordered the deployment of more than 25,000 police officers to assist in disaster response, particularly in search and rescue operations, in areas battered by Typhoon Ulysses. 

Sinas said 5,660 police officers have been deployed for disaster response operations, while 367 personnel are providing security and assistance in evacuation centers.

A reserve contingent of 20,207 police personnel from the Reactionary Standby Support Force and Search and Rescue Units has been placed on standby for rapid deployment.

He said they were monitoring the situation in affected regions to coordinate the further deployment of PNP disaster response units through the PNP Command Center.

Ahead of the typhoon's landfall over Luzon on Wednesday, Sinas has alerted PNP units in affected regions to preposition disaster response personnel, equipment, and resources in threatened areas.

Meanwhile, police disaster response units rescued 806 persons from possible hazards posed by rising floodwaters and strong winds brought by “Ulysses”.

Reports reaching the PNP Command Center in Camp Crame indicated that some 301,000 individuals are being housed in 13,526 evacuation centers in different regions where they are temporarily sheltered after a forced evacuation was implemented in their communities.

Situation reports from the command center indicated 411 flooded areas, 519 areas without electricity, and 104 areas without telecommunication service.

A total of 1,963 vehicles were reported stranded in 104 roads rendered impassable due to floods, while 96 inter-island vessels remained stranded in seaports while awaiting clearance to sail.

Some 78 passengers of seven canceled flights were also reported stranded at the airport. (PNA)