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Southern Palawan under state of calamity as storm leaves 11 dead, 27 missing

Palawan province (outlined in red) (Image from Google Maps)

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — The provincial government of Palawan placed the entire southern portion of the province under a state of calamity after the area was hit directly by Tropical Storms “Urduja” and “Vinta‘ (international known as Kai-tak and Tembin, respectively) in the last two weeks.

At least 11 persons were confirmed dead while 27 were declared missing, according to late reports that the provincial government received on Wednesday from the isolated villages of southern Palawan.

According to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Palawan, most of the deaths were in the remote island village of Mangsee in Balabac town close to the Malaysian maritime border.

Provincial information officer Gil Acosta also said they were expecting the numbers of casualties list to rise once they had received updates from monitoring teams deployed to Mangsee.

Mangsee, an island village in the middle of the Sulu Sea, was the hardest hit portion of southern Palawan as Vinta made landfall last Saturday.

It is a densely populated island closer to Sabah in Malaysia than it is to its town center of Balabac. Census data has placed its population at over 8,000 residents.

Acosta said the official death count could rise to at least 30 once reports from search-and-rescue teams could be confirmed .

“We are still verifying actual numbers because some were already buried during the first few days of the tragedy and were not documented,” Acosta said. “Our people are still doing documentation plus search and rescue.”

Following are the deaths officially confirmed by the PDRRMO of Palawan:

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