‘Ofel’ death toll up to 10By Frances Mangosing
MANILA, Philippines – Fatalities from tropical storm “Ofel” (international codename: Son-tinh) have reached 10, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Friday.
The latest victims were two teachers who died after their boat capsized in Romblon Friday afternoon.
NDRRMC Executive Director Benito Ramos identified the two as Eve Fajutag and Grace Mallorca.
“Kumpiyansa sila na oustide of the Philippine area of responsibility si Ofel pero yung gale force niya nandiyan pa rin, nag capsize yung bangka, patay yung dalawa,” he said.
The incident occured at about 3p.m.
The rest of their companions were saved but the two did not survive, Ramos said.
Ofel continued to move away from the country and was last spotted 570 kilometers west of Iba, Zambales with maximum sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 100 kph.
It is forecast to be 800 km west of Dagupan City by Saturday morning.
Ramos said 10, 935 persons were affected and nine remained missing due to the storm. Also, as of 10 p.m. Thursday, 11,804 passengers, 156 trucks, 37 passenger buses, 379 rolling cargoes, 25 vessels and 12 motorbancas were reported stranded in the ports of National Capital Region, Central Visayas and Southern Tagalog, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Bicol and Northern Mindanao.
In Bicol region lone, nearly P5 million worth of damage in agriculture was recorded.
Ramos said Central Visayas and Southern Luzon were hardest hit by the tropical storm.
Associated Press reported that Ofel was heading toward Vietnam and southern China.