By Joel C. Atencio
The death toll due to flashfloods spawned by tropical storm ‘Sendong‘ (International name: Washi) reached 1,000 in Visayas and Mindanao Tuesday afternoon, and expected to exceed this mark as search and retrieval operations by various sector continue, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said they were comparing figures with Tropical Storms “Yoling” and “Susang” in the 1970s and “Ondoy” in 2009.
As of 3 p.m. the death toll in Cagayan de Oro is 579 while Iligan City is 283 and Dumaguete City is 138.
The total number of population affected in 260 barangays in 30 municipalities and 8 cities in the 13 provinces of Regions VI, VII, IX, X, XI, CARAGA, and ARMM is 63,079 families or 338,415 persons.
Ramos said the death toll may rise as additional bodies were retrieved from the seashore of Macajalar Bay and at the Cagayan de Oro River. NDRRMC said as of 3 p.m., a total of 49 persons remained missing.
Ramos said the total number of population currently served inside and outside evacuation centers is 51,083 families or 284,610 persons.
In Iligan City, half dozen funeral parlors were full to capacity and no longer accepting bodies. The first 50 or so unclaimed bodies were buried in individual tombs at the city cemetery, Ramos said.
Agriculture damage is placed at P 1,936,415.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) Police Community Relations issued memorandum to all units alerting their respective Search and Rescue (SAR) teams and water assets for possible deployment.
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