‘Usman’ death toll rises to 75
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Tuesday said it was validating reports that 75 people died in landslides and floods caused by torrential rains in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas.
NDRRMC spokesperson Edgar Posadas said 16 other people had been reported missing in Albay and Camarines Sur provinces where landslides buried several homes.
Rescuers were still searching for the missing and were ready to retrieve bodies if the missing turned out to be dead already.
Posadas said most of the reports on deaths were from landslides in the Bicol region, adding that a team from the NDRRMC, called management of the dead and missing cluster, was still confirming the reports.
In a dzMM interview aired on Tuesday, NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad noted that some residents in mountainside villages refused to evacuate after Usman weakened into a low pressure area.
But he said it had been raining in Bicol even before Usman made landfall and brought torrential rains and landslides.
A state of calamity has been declared in the provinces of Albay and Sorsogon and several of their towns due to the effects of the weakened Usman.
As of Tuesday the NDRRMC reported over 45,000 families, or some 191,500 persons, affected by torrential rains in 457 villages of Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region and Eastern Visayas.
Of the number, 6,637 families remained in 170 evacuation centers in the affected regions, while 12,132 families sought shelter with relatives.
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