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Death toll from flooding, landslides hit 33; rains expected in northern parts of PHL

PRIVATE sector groups, assisted by the Misamis Occidental provincial police, distribute relief goods in flood-hit areas on Dec. 28. — MISAMIS OCCIDENTAL PROVINCIAL POLICE

THE DEATH toll from floods and landslides triggered by continuous rains since Friday last week in central and southern parts of the Philippines has reached 33, according to authorities.

The national disaster management council’s report as of Thursday morning logged in 32 deaths, which does not include at least one more in Mati City in Davao Oriental province that has been confirmed by the local government.   

Search operations were ongoing for three others in Mati who were buried in a landslide on Wednesday morning, according to the city’s information office.   

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC) count covered 18 deaths in Northern Mindanao, six in Bicol, four in Zamboanga Peninsula, three in Eastern Visayas, and one in Caraga.  

Seven of the reported deaths have already been “validated,” NDRRMC said.   

The agency also reported 24 people still missing, 11 of whom were in Bicol and Eastern Visayas, and one each in Zamboanga and Northern Mindanao.  

It added that 11 people were reported injured.  

The flash floods and landslides were mostly triggered by a shear line and the northeast monsoon, according to state weather agency PAGASA, which issued warnings as early as last week.   

A low pressure area that developed late Tuesday brought more rains in areas that were affected since Christmas day.   

NDRRMC said 124,853 families or 486,485 people in 139 cities and municipalities across 10 regions have been affected.   

The agency said 24,557 families or 101,613 people were still staying in evacuation centers.  

The disaster has also damaged 4,068 houses, 746 of which were totally destroyed.   

The typhoon has caused damage to infrastructure initially estimated at P51.55 million.  

Damage to agriculture, meanwhile, has hit P208.54 million, affecting 9,195 farmers.  

NDRRMC said state assistance to those affected by the typhoon was estimated at P49.43 million so far.  

PAGASA said the low pressure area has dissipated as of Thursday and reduced rainfall is expected in the Visayas and Mindanao.   

The shear line and northeast monsoon, however, will bring light to moderate and at times intense rains in northern parts of the country, including the island provinces in MIMAROPA.  

Local disaster management teams and emergency responders were advised by the weather agency to remain on alert for warnings of heavy downpours and possible flash floods and landslides. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza 

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