‘Quinta’ death toll rises to 11

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Part 2

MANILA, Philippines—The death toll from tropical depression Quinta (international name Wukong) has increased to 11 as of Friday morning while two were missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.

Based on its update, the fatalities came from Western and Eastern Visayas, with five from Iloilo, four in Samar and one each in Capiz and Leyte.

The cyclone, which later dissipated into a low pressure area after its exit, has affected over 5,000 families or 28,000 persons. Around 2,000 families remain in evacuation shelters while around 600 houses were destroyed by Quinta. Five bridges and roads remained impassable.

“The worst is over,” Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said.

Officials said heavy rain on mountains surrounding Kalibo, the capital of Aklan province on Panay Island, caused a river running through the city to overflow and triggered a flash flood late Wednesday. No casualties were reported but many houses near the river were damaged, said Efren Trinidad, assistant to Kalibo Mayor William Lachica.

The flooding was aggravated by the high tide, preventing the river from emptying into the sea, Trinidad said. He said canals were blocked by heavy silt brought down from nearby hills.

The city is the gateway to the famous island resort of Boracay, which was not affected.

“As we were conducting rescue operations, flights were coming in because the weather was fine. The moon was shining while we were being flooded. It was ironic,” Trinidad said, explaining that rains fell mostly over the mountains.

It was the 17th storm to hit the country this year. Forecasters said no other disturbances were expected through the end of the year, which also marks the end of the rainy season.

Typhoon Bopha lashed the main southern island of Mindanao early this month, killing at least 1,067 people and leaving more than 800 missing. It triggered flash floods laden with mud, boulders and uprooted trees that rampaged through farming communities, wiping out entire villages.

The typhoon caused nearly 37 billion pesos ($902 million) in damage to agriculture, property and infrastructure, making it one of the worst storms to hit the country in recent years.

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