9 dead from ‘Vicky’ in 3 provinces

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    NINE persons were reported dead to have died in Agusan del Sur, Leyte, and Surigao del Sur provinces from floods and landslides caused by tropical depression “Vicky” which is now outside the the Philippine area of responsibility.

    Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago Cane Jr said three of his constituents died of drowning, all from San Francisco town. One of the fatalities, he said, was an employee of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

    Cane said another was reported missing and still subject to search and rescue efforts.
    Cane said low-lying barangays were flooded last Friday and some were still under water yesterday morning.

    He said the flooding displaced many residents, but many of them have returned to their houses as the floodwaters in their areas receded.

    “We are taking care of our evacuees who cannot yet go home either because they lost their houses or their houses are still under water. Majority of our areas are already cleared of water, except those municipalities along Agusan River,” said Cane.

    The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said there were three fatalities in Mahaplag town in Leyte.

    NDRRMC deputy spokesman Mark Timbal could not immediately say the cause of their deaths.

    Mahaplag town Mayor Daisy Lleve named two of the fatalities as Evelina Laraño, 67, and Juvilinda Milana, 62, who were buried by a rain-triggered landslide in Barangay Cuatro de Agosto last Saturday.

    Surigao del Sur Gov. Alexander Pimentel said three also died in his province.

    “We have three (fatalities) who drowned. The cause of their death is drowning,” said Pimentel, adding landslides were also reported in the province, with one of them leading to the collapse of a tower of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

    Timbal said about 5,200 families were affected in Central Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao, and Caraga regions.

    “A large number of those people were evacuated due to flooding in Caraga and Davao region,” he said.

    Timbal said the NDRRMC recorded seven landslide incidents. He said 83 houses were either destroyed or damaged in Central Visayas.

    Vicky intensified into a tropical depression, from a low pressure area, on Friday morning and made two landfalls – one in Davao Oriental on Friday afternoon and in Palawan on Friday night.

    The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Vicky exited the Philippines area of responsibility at around 2 p.m. yesterday.

    But Kalayaan Islands in Palawan was placed under signal No. 1.

    PAGASA said Vicky is forecast to intensify into a tropical storm (with international name Krovanh) within 12 hours but is not likely to further intensify into a severe tropical storm.

    As of 4 p.m yesterday, Vicky was some 70 km southeast of Kalayaan, Palawan. It is packing maximum winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph and moving westward at 15 kph.

    The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it still has P779 million worth of relief goods and standby funds that can be used or Vicky’s victims.

    The DSWD said that of the amount, P182 million accounts for available standby funds in the central office and field offices. – With Jocelyn Montemayor