Aquino to visit more evacuation centersBy Nikko Dizon |Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines— President Benigno Aquino is set to make the rounds of more evacuation centers, this time going to Cavite province, which has been declared under a state of calamity, as the number of people affected by the monsoon floods soared to 1.73 million on Thursday morning, the country’s disaster monitoring agency said.
The number of fatalities rose to 17 after one of those reported missing was found dead, according to Major Rey Balido, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at a press conference.
The number of individuals who were affected by the torrential rains and flooding stood at 1.73 million, with more than a million in Central Luzon alone, Balido added.
More than half a million people were forced out of their homes, with 217,195 persons (48, 206 families) staying in 709 evacuation centers, Balido said. Another 345,723 people (71,165 families) had moved in with relatives or friends, he said.
Aquino visited evacuation centers in Laguna and Mandaluyong City on Wednesday.
He is to be accompanied again by, among others, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Office of Civil Defense administrator Eduardo del Rosario. Gazmin and del Rosario are the NDRRMC chairman and the executive director, respectively.
OCD Deputy Administrator Romeo Fajardo ,mentioned the President’s visit to Cavite as he started the press conference at the NDRRMC.
Five people were reported killed in Cavite, including a two-year-old boy who was swept away by floods in Imus City and a seven-year-old boy who drowned in Tanza.
Cavite was among the provinces hit hardest by monsoon rains worsened by Tropical Storm Maring, which exited the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday morning.
Sangley Point in Cavite also recorded 475 millimeters of rainfall in 24 hours (Monday 8 a.m. to Tuesday 8 a.m.), surpassing last year’s record of the southwest monsoon.
The monsoon rains also pounded Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon in August last year, where Sangley recorded 364.2 mm of rainfall.
The monthly average amount of rainfall in Sangley is 452.2 mm.