MANILA, Philippines ? (UPDATE 2) The number of affected families due to continuous heavy rains in various regions have climbed to 88,053 families, or 452,999 persons and the death toll to 25, officials said Wednesday.
In its latest situation report, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) reported that the displaced families came from 527 villages in 19 provinces of Regions 5 (Bicol), 7 (Central Visayas), 8 (Eastern Visayas), 10 (Northern Mindanao), 11 (Davao), the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao and the Caraga region.
A majority of the dead had drowned, with at least five others killed in landslides, the NDRRMC said.
Some of the victims were identified as: Antonio Dapdap, Lolita Dapdap both from Manito, Albay and Maricris Abrigo from Legaspi City; Fatima Discaryal, Rodel Discaryal, Jordan Lakipin who all died in a landslide in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte; Recabel Montederamos and Patrick Pelaez died due to drowning in separate incidents also in Southern Leyte.
In Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, a landslide killed Dioscoro Albiro and Shiela Carrido. Three were killed in Agusan del Sur namely Rogello Madelo, Dondie Carl Bolante and Micheal Rodrigo Otero. In Lanao del Norte, a victim identified as Christine Relostina died due to drowning.
In Compostela Valley, one victim identified as Apolinaria Porras reportedly died due to drowning while another from Davao del Sur, identified as Jonas Caa, also reportedly drowned.
Meanwhile, as of posting time, residents in 11 villages in Albay are being evacuated in anticipation of the rains, according to a report on Radyo Inquirer.
The pre-emptive evacuation in landslide and flood-prone areas began at about 1 p.m., the report said.
Albay Governor Joey Salceda ordered the suspension of classes as he and other officials from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) and the province were meeting.
Albay, Butuan City in Caraga region have been declared under state of calamity.
The NDRRMC also estimated that the rains have damaged 627.5 hectares of crops in Albay with partial estimated damages reaching P1.36 million. Likewise, 10 villages in Tubod, Lanao del Norte have reported P3.627 million worth of damages on crops, livestock and fisheries, while four hectares of cornfields were also reported to be damaged in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte due to flooding.
Meanwhile, the NDRRMC reported that 38 houses were totally damaged while 59 others were partially damaged in the affected areas.
The NDRRMC added that the a total of P2.57 million worth of relief assistance have been distributed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, local government units, non-government organizations and other government organizations.
The DSWD has also prepositioned P22.2 million worth of standby funds, family packs and other food, and non-food items to augment relief operations.
"About 70 percent of our region is still flooded," regional civil defense chief Blanche Gobenciong told Agence France-Presse by telephone from Butuan City.
Moderate to heavy rains due to the tail-end of a cold front and the northeast monsoon have continuously pounded the affected provinces since Dec. 29, 2010.
No tropical cyclones have been monitored to be within the Philippine Area of Responsibility, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its latest weather report. However, Pagasa said that the northeast monsoon would continue to prevail over Luzon while the tail-end of a cold front would still affect Visayas and Mindanao.
Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies and will expect light rains. Meanwhile, Visayas and Mindanao will have cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms which will become widespread rains over the eastern sections which may trigger flashfloods and landslides, Pagasa warned.