Death toll in monsoon rains rises to 7
MANILA — The death toll in the ongoing onslaught of the habagat (southwest monsoon) has risen to seven, with five more reported missing from a tunnel flashflood in General Nakar, Quezon last Saturday.
However, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said the number of residents evacuated due to flooding and other environment threats have declined to around 24,000. They are still housed in 63 evacuation centers in the Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Western Visayas and National Capital Region, according to the NDRRMC.
In a report released 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director and Office of Civil Defense administrator, government agencies were monitoring a low pressure area located 800 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora.
The NDRRMC chief also quoted weather authorities as saying that the southwest monsoon would continue to affect Luzon and possibly trigger flashfloods and landslides in the Ilocos Region as well as in the provinces of Benguet, Zambales and Bataan.
The NDRRMC reported that the Binga Dam in Itogon, Benguet, opened three of its spill gates after the dam’s current water level was recorded at 573.32 meters. The dam’s critical level is 575 meters.
The latest fatalities were two unnamed men. One was a construction worker who drowned in the flashflood that occurred inside the Sumag River Tunnel in General Nakar, Quezon, last Saturday. Five other workers at the tunnel who remained missing were identified as Ronald Sanchez, Danny Hamois, Ferdie Sanadan and Zeith Picat.
The other unnamed fatality was a fisherman whose body was found at a mangrove area in Brooke’s Point, Palawan, also last Saturday. The fisherman’s companion is also missing.
The NDRRMC also confirmed an accident that took place last Sunday in Cavite wherein a passenger of a car drowned after the vehicle was swept by strong current while crossing a bridge over the swollen Tarapiche River at the boundary of Maragondon and General Emilio Aguinaldo towns.
The number of persons injured during the weather disturbance remained at six, according to the NDRRMC.
Jalad said a total of 32,220 families or 154,898 people in 208 barangays—94 of them in Central Luzon—were affected by the floods and other habagat-related incidents.
As of Tuesday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units have distributed about P2.87 million worth of relief assistance to affected families in Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Negros Island Regions, Jalad said. SFM
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