K-9 units help in search for Agaton victims

Michael Punongbayan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Army’s K-9 units along with their engineers have been deployed in Baybay, Leyte to help in search, rescue and retrieval operations for victims of landslides that were triggered by Tropical Storm Agaton several days ago.

As of yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the number of fatalities remained at 172 with 110 people still missing.

The K-9 units along with police and personnel of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau surveyed and assessed Kantagnos, one of the villages in Baybay badly hit by landslides, according to Army spokesman Col. Xerxes Trinidad.

The 3rd Company of the Army’s K-9 Battalion and their engineers are currently helping in the search for people reported missing during the onslaught of Agaton in various villages in Baybay.

Soldiers were also deployed in remote villages of Bunga, Cal-ipa and Mailhi to search for and retrieve bodies that were either buried in the mud or swept away by floods spawned by Agaton.

Trinidad said the Army’s K-9 Battalion has several dogs trained for combat tracking and explosives detection. The canines are also used as scout dogs.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said it intensified its humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations in Leyte.

The Visayas Command on Saturday announced that assistance would continue for people displaced by the calamity, according to Col. Jorry Baclor, AFP public affairs office chief.

“We will mobilize assets to support efforts of local government units in distributing relief goods and basic services in affected communities,” Lt. Gen. Robert Dauz, commander of the Visayas Command, said.


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