WHAT WENT BEFORE: Tropical Storm ‘Sendong’
In December 2011, Tropical Storm “Sendong” (international name: Washi) dumped an unprecedented amount of rain on the cities of Iligan and Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao, triggering massive floods and landslides.
The 19th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines that year, Sendong made its first landfall near Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur province, on Dec. 16, and crossed Cagayan de Oro around midnight. It caused catastrophic flooding in the city unaccustomed to torrential rains.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, the storm’s recorded 24-hour rainfall at Lumbia District in Cagayan de Oro was 180.9 millimeters, which exceeded the monthly average by 60 percent.
A total of 1,268 people, many of them women and children, drowned in their sleep. Most of the deaths were reported in Cagayan de Oro (674) and Iligan (490). More than 6,000 persons were injured.
Close to 700,000 people in 13 provinces were affected. The cost of damage was pegged at P2.1 billion—P1.4 billion in infrastructure, P309 million in agriculture and P393 million in property.
Over 51,000 houses were damaged in Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Caraga and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Officials have since pointed to illegal logging, mining and quarrying as other factors that made Sendong floods deadlier and more catastrophic. Inquirer Research
Sources: NDRRMC, Inquirer Archives
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