Flash flood deaths at 20; DND honors Army man
MANILA, Philippines — The death toll attributed to massive flooding in various parts of the country since the start of the year reached 20 on Saturday, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Based on the latest NDRRMC tally, six deaths have been confirmed in Eastern Visayas, five in Bicol Region, four each in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Northern Mindanao; and one in in Davao Region.
At least eight people were listed as injured and one person in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao was reported missing.
Among the 20 flood fatalities was Jerry Palacio, a 34-year-old Army corporal, who perished during an emergency response mission in San Isidro, Northern Samar, on Jan. 9.
San Isidro was among flooded Visayas towns where the Army’s 8th Infantry Division mobilized in support of local government rescue operations.“Corporal Palacio was a patriot who was always ready to serve, especially in times of emergency,” the Department of National Defense said in a statement on Saturday.
“He paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our people and the country he loved. He was a courageous and heroic individual, who always put the needs of others before himself. He will forever be remembered by our grateful nation in the highest regard,” it added.
LPA, shearline, ‘amihan’
The NDRRMC monitoring of the weather-related deaths and damage started on Jan. 2, although the death toll reported on Saturday covered only the period since Jan. 12.
Technically, the country has yet to record a typhoon or tropical storm since the start of 2023, but 13 out of the 17 regions have suffered from heavy rains and destructive flash floods.
Experts have explained the bad weather as the combination of the effects of a low pressure area, shear line (formed by the convergence of cold and warm wind fronts), and the northeast monsoon, locally known as“amihan.”
More than 550,000 people have been affected, with 80,062 forced to leave their homes for the past two weeks, the council said.
Damage to infrastructure was estimated at P171 million, while losses in agriculture was pegged at P283 million.
A state of calamity has been declared in the entire Eastern Samar province, and in the towns of San Miguel, Leyte; Basey, Gandara and San Jorge in Samar; Laoang in Northern Samar; and Tubod in Lanao del Norte.
From Dec. 26, 2022, to Jan. 1, 2023, the death toll from the flooding was 52, the injured totaled 18 and the missing persons also numbered 18. The NDRRMC reported this separate set of figures about that period on Jan. 11.
Forecast for Sunday
According to a Pagasa weather advisory issued on Saturday afternoon, an LPA was located east-southeast of Surigao City but was deemed “less likely to develop into a tropical depression within the next 24 hours.”But it will still bring moderate to heavy rains over the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga, the weather agency said.
Light to heavy rain is also expected in Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, BARMM, and the provinces of Romblon and Marinduque.
In Bulacan, flooding due to dams’ water release leaves P17-M agri damage
1,000 people displaced by flooding in Butuan City
Heavy rainfall causes seven landslides in Iligan City
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