At least 200 killed as severe tropical storm in Philippines - UPDATED
The death toll from Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) breached 200 as flash floods and landslides wiped out homes, including an entire mountain village, in the southern Philippines on Saturday, December 23, APA reports quotig Xinhua.
Based on data from the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Northern Mindanao, at least 135 people have died in the region alone due to Vinta.
Regional police said 127 of the fatalities were in Lanao del Norte, 6 in Bukidnon, one in Iligan, and one in Misamis Occidental. Around 72 others remain missing in Northern Mindanao.
It was also earlier reported that up to 50 died in the Zamboanga Peninsula and 18 in Lanao del Sur, bringing the total number of fatalities across Mindanao to 203.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Romina Marasigan confirmed 18 deaths in Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte.
Chief Inspector Helen Galvez, spokesperson of Police Regional Office 9 in Zamboanga City, confirmed 19 deaths in Gutalac, 7 in Salug, one in Leon Postigo, and another one in Siocon.
At least 110 persons were killed in the two Lanao provinces and Zamboanga del Norte as severe tropical storm Vinta slammed across in the two across Mindanao Friday, dumping rains that triggered flash floods and landslides, APA reports quoting Xinhua.
In Lanao del Norte, 56 persons were killed in the towns of Salvador and Tubod, according to the chiefs of their Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO). Two more were reported killed in Munai town, according to a report posted on the Facebook page of the Lanao del Norte government.
In Lanao del Sur, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) reported a total of 18 killed in five towns, according to Assemblyman ZIa Alonto Adiong.
In Zamboanga del Norte, 34 dead bodies had been recovered as of 3 p.m. Saturday, 80 remain missing while nine were injured, the Provincial Police Office said in its report to the Police Regional Office.
In Lanao del Norte, Engr. Rodel Maghinay, MDRRM officer, told MindaNews that rescuers dug up 38 bodies covered in mud, rocks and under boulders in Purok 2, as of 8 p.m. Saturday. Purok 2 is the village hardest hit by Friday’s flash flood.
In neighboring Tubod town, MDRRMO chief Vicmar Paloma told MindaNews said they recovered 18 bodies from the banks of Cabuyao River which overflowed last Frirday.
Maghinay’s team is still searching for 27 persons reported missing by their relatives while Paloma’s is searching for 28 missing in the farming village of Dalama, some 45 minutes away from the poblacion.
“As high as a coconut tree”
Maghinay said the victims “did not stand a chance,” adding that when the flash flood came, “it was all over in five minutes.”
He said those who survived told tales of the flash flood “as high as a coconut tree.”
According to Paloma, residents of Barangay Dalama were confident no harm would come their way because the rains were intermittent. “The rampaging waters caught many of them inside their houses which were either destroyed by huge boulders or swept away,” he said.
Paloma said poor communications and muddy roads hampered rescue and recovery efforts.
Two persons were reported killed in Munai but the figure is expected to be higher.
18 in five towns
In Lanao del Sur, the death toll rose to 18 on Saturday with additional 11 reported dead in Tamparan and Piagapo towns, Adiong said, quoting PDRRMO reports.
As of 6:12 p.m. Friday, the PDRRMO reported two dead and one missing in Wato-Balindong town, one dead and three missing in the municipality of Tugaya, and four dead in Madalum.
Adiong said 11 more deaths were reported: one in Tamparan town and 10 in Piagapo town.
The victim in Tampakan is a two-year old boy from Barangay Pickarabawan whose name was not given. No information was also relayed on how the child was killed.
Ten were reported killed in Piagapo but details were not also made available in the information relayed by Adiong.
In Wato-Balindong, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) identified two of the four slain residents as Amerodin Naga, 49 and Esmail Maminta, 21.
Twelve year old Nawaz Elison-Elias remains missing.
In Tugaya, no details were also made available about the two dead and three missing residents.
In Madalum, only one of four slain residents was identified: Abolais Rico Madid, 41.
In Zamboanga del Norte, Sr. Supt. Raul Tacaca in his report to the Police Regional Office in Western Mindanao, said that as of 3 p.m. Saturday, 34 bodies had been recovered but 80 still remained missing and nine were injured.
Nineteen persons were reported killed in Gutalac and seven in Salug. Six bodies were recovered in Siocon, one in Leon Postigo and one in Siocon.
Sibuco town registered the most number of missing, with 40 “missing, feared dead,” 28 in Gutalac, eight in Salug, four in Siocon.
Thousands of residents along Vinta’s path fled to evacuation centers.
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