By Beatriz Marie D. Cruz
A LOW pressure area (LPA) that could still intensify had been dumping more rain in parts of central and southern Philippines already flooded since weekend, where reported deaths hit 25 while 26 others were missing as of Wednesday, authorities said.
Of the reported deaths, 16 were from Northern Mindanao, five from the Bicol region, two from Eastern Visayas, and two from the Zamboanga Peninsula, according to a situation report from the disaster council.
Twelve are missing from Bicol, 11 from Eastern Visayas, two from Northern Mindanao, and one from Zamboanga.
The Christmas weekend rains, caused by a shear line and the northeast monsoon, have affected 102,476 families or 393,069 persons, with 147,086 displaced persons now staying in 292 evacuation centers.
Affected houses reached 1,196 with an estimated cost of P 11.74 million. The cost of damage to public infrastructure stood at P20.87 million.
The estimated damage to agriculture has increased to P65.92 million, affecting over 2,500 hectares of crops and 2,003 farmers or fisherfolks.
Out of 63 cities or municipalities affected, 20 still do not have power as of Wednesday, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s Dec. 28 report.
Two localities, Llorente in Eastern Samar and Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental, have been declared under state of calamity.
The estimated cost of assistance provided rose to P6.67 million, the disaster council said.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the shear line has weakened, according to the weather bureau PAGASA. However, a low pressure area estimated at 260 kilometers northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur was expected to bring moderate to heavy and at times intense rains in Eastern Visayas, moderate to at times heavy rains in CARAGA, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao region, Bicol region, Palawan, and the rest of Visayas.
“The possibility of this weather disturbance to develop into a tropical depression is not ruled out,” PAGASA said.
In northern parts of the country, particularly the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Central Luzon, and Bicol, the northeast monsoon may cause moderate to heavy rains, which may trigger flash floods or landslides.