Deaths due to floods, landslides rise to 26

Posted on January 17, 2014

THE DEATH toll from the floods and landslides in the Visayas and Mindanao caused by a lingering low pressure area (LPA) increased to 26 yesterday, the national disaster council said.

The situation report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) yesterday noted that Davao region recorded the most deaths, with 13, followed by 10 in the Caraga region, two in Northern Mindanao and one in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

The NDRRMC said 11 other people remain missing -- seven in the Davao region, three in Caraga and one in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

A total of 36 others have been reported injured.

There were 19 landslide incidents, and six flash floods triggered by the extensive raining, the national disaster council said.

A total of 70 roads and 32 bridges were reported impassable in portions of the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Saug River and Libuganon River in Davao del Norte were also reported to have overflowed, causing local governments to implement the evacuation of residents in nearby areas.

Irrigation dams in Aragon and Barangay Taytayan in Cateel, in Davao Oriental were also damaged due to the heavy flooding.

As of 6 a.m. yesterday, the NDRRMC said a total of 247 passengers, 24 vessels, and 10 motor boats were stranded in Camarines Sur and Cebu.

The NDRRMC also said classes were suspended in different levels in Albay, Surigao del Norte and Compostela Valley.

“A total of 10,903 hectares of agricultural crops were damaged in Davao Oriental and Agusan del Sur,” the NDRRMC said.

The floods and landslides have affected 71,482 families, or 339,870 persons, in 355 barangays in 62 municipalities in 14 provinces of Northern Mindanao, the Davao region and Caraga, the NDRRMC report said.

Of these, 42,714 families, or 206,120 persons, are being sheltered in 225 evacuation centers manned by the Social Welfare department.

The number of damaged houses due to the heavy raining brought by the LPA more than doubled from reports on Wednesday as it reached 1,332 of which 293 were completely destroyed.

The cost of assistance extended to affected individuals in portions of Visayas and Mindanao mounted to P16.64 million worth of relief goods.

Because of the continuous downpour in the Visayas and Mindanao caused by the LPA, several local governments has already declared a state of calamity in their areas. The NDRRMC report yesterday said Tarragona, Manay, Caraga, Baganga, Cateel and Boston, all in Davao Oriental were added to the list of provinces that earlier declared a state of calamity.

The LPA is still expected to intensify to a tropical depression in the coming days as it is expected to exit the Philippine territory on Sunday, the state weather bureau said yesterday.

The weather update of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) yesterday said that as of 4 p.m., the LPA was last located at 210 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

PAGASA said the regions of Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Northern Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rain showers and thunderstorms which may trigger flash floods and landslides.

It added that the rest of the Visayas, Davao region and Zamboanga Peninsula will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rain showers and thunderstorms.

“Cagayan Valley, Bicol region and the province of Aurora will be cloudy with light rains,” it said.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon based on the PAGASA update will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains, while the rest of Mindanao will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rain showers and thunderstorms. “Residents in these areas are advised to take all the necessary precautionary measures against flash floods and landslides,” the state weather bureau said.

In its advisory, PAGASA said that the coastal waters throughout the archipelago will also be rough to very rough with wave heights reaching up to five meters.

“Fishing boats and other small sea craft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” PAGASA warned.

Meanwhile, the Social Welfare department in a statement said it has stepped up relief efforts to assist families affected by the flooding in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The department said it has prepared more than P33 million worth of emergency relief resources. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin