42 die, 15 missing as ‘Vinta’ batters Zamboanga

FORTY-TWO people were killed while 15 others were missing as Tropical Storm “Vinta” lashes several areas in three provinces of the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) said on Saturday.

This came after the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Friday hoisted Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) Number 2 over the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay.

OCD-Regional Director Manuel Luis Ochotorena said 18 people drowned by rampaging flood that swept the village of Anongan, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, which was the hardest hit area by on onslaught of Vinta.

Ochotorena said the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Office (PDRRMO) reported that eight people were missing while two others were injured.

The official said there were high casualties in Anongan as there were several residents especially those in the shoreline that did not evacuate to safe areas despite being advised two days before the entry of the tropical storm into the country.

The village of Anongan is in the estuary of Sibuco municipality, which is a coastal municipality.

Ochotorena said the town proper of Sibuco remain inundated by two meters deep flood as of Saturday morning.

Seven people were reported to have died while seven others remain missing in Salug. Six were reported wounded.

The other reported deaths are in the following areas: one each in Leon Postigo and Sindangan towns in Zamboanga del Norte; two in Zamboanga City; and, one in Zamboanga Sibugay.

Five people were also listed as wounded in the province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

Ochotorena said well-equipped Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and police emergency response unit have been dispatched to render assistance to the affected residents in Sibuco.

He said they have sent Emergency Medical Team (EMT) to Salug, Zamboanga del Norte to provide assistance to the displaced residents in the area.

He said they still have two EMTs placed on standby and ready to respond to emergencies as the need arises.

The three Zamboanga areas were among the 11 Mindanao provinces placed under TCWS Number 2 as Vinta made landfall on Friday in Davao.

The other provinces covered by the storm warning signal are the following: Misamis Occidental; Lanao del Sur; Lanao del Norte; Bukidnon; Misamis Oriental; North Cotabato; Davao del Norte; and, Agusan del Sur. (SunStar Philippines)
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