THE number of deaths due to heavy rains and floods that hit parts of the country over the Christmas holiday has risen to 32, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Council said in its report on Thursday.
Of the 32 deaths, 18 were reported in Northern Mindanao, six in the Bicol region, four in Zamboanga Peninsula, three in Eastern Visayas, and one in the Caraga region.
The NDRRMC said seven deaths had been confirmed while the rest are for validation.
It said reported that 24 are missing, while 11 were injured.
Several areas in the Visayas and Mindanao experienced heavy rains and floods over the Christmas holiday due to the shear line, or the convergence of the cold northeasterly and warm easterly winds that forms rain clouds.
Thousands were displaced.
A total of 124,853 families or 486,485 individuals were affected. Of this number, 12,264 families are staying in 150 evacuation centers.
Damage to crops, properties
Damage to agriculture was estimated at P206.489 million. The affected regions are Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, and the Bicol region.
On the other hand, damage to infrastructure was estimated at P110.425 million. The affected infrastructure were in Mimaropa, the Bicol region, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, and the Caraga region.
A total of 4,068 houses were also damaged during the rains. The damage was estimated at P41.486 million.
These houses were located in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao region, Caraga region, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
Irrigation facilities in the Bicol region also suffered P2.050 million worth of damage.
More rains expected
The state weather bureau said the shear line would bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, and Mindoro provinces.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are also expected over Camarines Norte and the rest of Calabarzon and Mimaropa.
Flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards, and areas that had experienced a significant amount of rains in the previous days.
The government has provided P49.43 million worth of assistance to the affected families. These include food packs, blankets, and financial aid.
Caritas Philippines has also started providing assistance to the flood victims, particularly in Misamis Occidental. It has teamed up with the Archdiocese of Ozamis’ social action center to bring relief items to the affected individuals.
Several parishes are also housing evacuees from high risk areas and have provided them with food packages, potable water, hygiene kits, and clothing, among others.
Caritas Manila called for donations to provide emergency assistance to flood victims in Misamis Occidental. The immediate needs are ready to eat foods, drinking water, hygiene kits and medicines.
“Your voluntary support for this fundraising campaign will go a long way in helping communities and families recover from the devastation caused by the flooding,” said Caritas Manila.
Banner photo credit: Philippine Coast Guard