Saturday, December 17, 2011

More than 200 dead in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City flash floods

(UPDATED Dec. 28 12:34 PM) More than 200 people died and 400 missing in the flash floods caused by tropical storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro, Iligan City, and parts of Zamboange del Norte early Saturday morning of December 17, according to initial reports.

Deaths were up to 1,249 as of December 28, 6 AM.

Rampaging waters swept away houses and transportation and communication lines. People were in a frenzy to relocate into higher places as the floods continued to go up.

Initial reports said that in Cagayan de Oro, 79 people were reported dead and 113 were missing according to the Cagayan de Oro City Disaster Coordinating Council. Western Mindanao Command of Iligan City confirmed that at least 40 persons were dead and at least 260 missing.

As of 4 PM of December 17, Saturday, 97 bodies were reportedly recovered in Cagayan de Oro, and 75 bodies found in Iligan City. Nearly 400 people are still missing.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) data revealed that rescuers/survivors count to 632 as of 12NN December 19.

PAG-ASA released through their weather bulletin issued 8 AM of December 18, that tropical storm Sendong (Washi) continues to move westward in the West Philippine Sea and is expected to exit PAR tonight. The center is located 230km west northwest of Puerto Princesa City, and has maximum winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness up to 80 kph. It is moving west at 24 kph.

The storm is expected to be 470 km west northwest of Puerto Princesa City, and will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility tonight.

Residents were asleep

Storm-triggered floods rushed through the streets and roads in Iligan City while most of the people were sound asleep, about 1AM on Saturday, GMA News TV's Balitanghali reported.

The storm's wrath

The whole Cagayan de Oro city is in total blackout and there is no water in affected barangays. Communication lines are down and most stores and establishments are closed. The floods came in at around 1 AM and no less than 10,000 people from Isla de Oro were affected by the flood. Neighborhood houses were washed away and there were many dead.

Cagayan de Oro is known to be a flash flood-prone area, and the flooding is said to be the worst in the city. Two typhoons, Nesat and Nalgae, hit the country within days of each other from late September, leaving more than 100 people dead, while tropical storm Banyan killed another eight people in October.

Death figures may still go up

Benito Ramos, Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that the death toll may still go up, especially that around 260 people remain unaccounted for in Iligan City alone (December 17), SunStar reported. Mayor Lawrence Cruz already declared a state of calamity.

97 people died in Cagayan de Oro City based on figures from the AFP Eastern Mindanao Command spokesman Col. Leopold Galon. At least 125 others are missing.

Military trucks, boats, helicopters and ground troops have been deployed in the two areas for search and rescue operations. Ramos said that local government units, the Armed Forces, the Coast Guard, other government agencies, and even the media reported more deaths than the agency itself.

CASUALTIES (As of 6 AM (December 27), released by NDRRMC)

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported as of 6 AM of December 27 a totalof 1,249 deaths, 4,619 injured, 84 missing, and 442 rescued/survived. 12,817 houses were totally devastated, while 29,524 were partially damaged.

789 barangays, 113,336 families, and 719,485 people were affected bytropical storm Sendong as of December 27, 2011 6 AM. Over 11,000 families were placed into evacuation centers.

Sendong cost a total of Php1,106,556,000 damage in infrastructures, and Php37,115,975 damage in agriculture, totaling to Php1,143,671,975.

A total of Php74,780,098.25 cost of assistance was given by combined efforts from NDRRMC, DSWD, LGUs, NGOs, and DOH.


Relief goods readied for the flood-hit areas

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) prepared relief goods for Sendong victims, ABS-CBN News reported. Secretary Dinky Soliman said 10 evacuation centers in Cagayan de Oro City and 3 in Carmen have been put up.

The department said about 100,000 people were brought to more than a dozen shelters in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro City.

Soliman said that President Aquino instructed the DSWD to ensure that all food and shelter needs of the evacuees are met. The president also instructed to prepare "noche buena" packs for the victims, and assured that families will be provided shelter assistance by the government.

Updated as of December 20, DSWD pre-positioned P15.21 million standby funds and P57.28 million worth of relief supplies in all DSWD-FOs along the typhoon path, amounting to P72.5 million. Assorted relief commodities coming from UNWFP, MAYNILAD, PNRC, and DOH worth P30.27 million were transported to DSWD-FO X thru the DSWD.


Source: Interaksyon, GMA News, NDRRMC, ABS-CBN News
Photos: Interaksyon

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