327 dead, 380 missing due to 'Pablo' -- NDRRMC-A A +A
Thursday, December 6, 2012
MANILA (Updated 3:48 p.m.) -- Tropical Storm "Pablo" (international codename: Bopha) has left at least 327 dead and hundreds more injured and missing as it slowly exits the country, the state disaster agency said Thursday afternoon.
In Davao region alone, at least 298 fatalities were recorded, mostly from the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley where flash flood and mudslide incidents were reported, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
Most of the dead victims in both provinces are still unidentified as of this posting Thursday.
Overall, only 68 bodies of the reported number of fatalities have been identified by authorities.
The NDRRMC said most of the fatalities drowned or were toppled by fallen trees or collapsed houses.
As of 1 p.m. Thursday, at least 437 people are injured while 380 remain missing, the agency said. About 343 of the missing persons are from New Bataan town, Compostela Valley.
Pablo has affected 62,607 families or 294,110 persons in 26 provinces in the Mimaropa region, Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, and Caraga region. Over 250,000 people are currently inside evacuation centers.
The tropical storm has stranded 2,283 passengers, 225 rolling cargoes, 91 vessels, and 16 motor bancas in various ports across the country. At least 46 domestic flights have also been cancelled due to Pablo.
The NDRRMC said Pablo has so far left a total of P180.5 million cost of damages to infrastructure, agriculture, and private properties.
The agency added that the provinces of Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley were declared under state of calamity.
The tropical storm has damaged a total of 4,704 houses and affected six bridges and 15 roads while knocking out communication lines and power and water supply in several areas in Mindanao.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, who inspected Davao Oriental on Wednesday, said the damage in the province is centered in three coastal towns—Baganga, Cateel, and Boston.
"Compounding the damage sustained, the three towns—with a total population of approximately 150,000 individuals—have become isolated as bridge connections—south from Mati and North from Compostela Valley—were struck down during the typhoon," Roxas said in his situation report.
"The most difficult challenge we face is the restoration of power to the entire province, due to electric posts that were toppled during the typhoon," he added.
As of 10 a.m., Pablo's center was located at 380 kilometers west of Coron, Palawan, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Pablo is packed with maximum sustained winds of 115 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to of 145 kph. It is projected to move west northwest at seven kph.
Pagasa said Pablo has slowed down as it continues to move away from the Philippines.
The 16th storm to enter the country, Pablo is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)