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8 dead, 2 missing in Typhoon Lawin's wake

Typhoon Lawin left eight dead and two missing in its wake as it leaves the Philippines. Philstar.com/File photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Eight people were reported dead and two were reported missing in the wake of Typhoon Lawin, the Department of the Interior and Local Government said.

DILG Director Edgar Allan Tabell said they have received reports of four deaths in the Cordillera Administrative Region, three in Region 2, and one in Region 1. Two more people are reported missing in Region 2.

"Sa ngayon, yung walo, hindi pa ho natin sigurado kung lahat yun ay directly or indirectly related sa bagyo," Tabell said during a press conference at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). "Maaari pong mas mababa pa dun yung numero."

Tabell said that the Management of the Dead and Missing (MDM) cluster of the NDRRMC is still investigating the deaths and are waiting for the reports of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and Department of Health (DOH) officers to make sure if the deaths are related to the typhoon.

Tabell added that according to the Philippine Coast Guard, no fishermen have been reported to have gone missing.

According to NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad, the preemptive and forced evacuation made by the Local Government Units was a big factor to the low casualty number.

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Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera reported that there are currently 18,277 families -- around 80,275 people -- staying in 209 evacuation centers.

Large numbers of evacuees came from Region 3 after Aurora province initiated a preemptive evacuation even before Typhoon Karen hit.

Regional officers are currently trying to assess if it is safe for the displaced families to return home.

"Gusto ko pong i-assure yung ating mga kababayan na yung gobyerno po, yung national government, ay handang tumulong," Cabrera said.

She said that regional DSWD offices have already sent out family food packages and will continue to sent out hygiene kits, blankets and banigs.

Visna Manio of the Department of Public Works and Highways meanwhile said that as of 3 p.m., there were 37 closed road sections, 28 of which are in the Cordillera region. She also added that there are three closed road sections in Baguio, six in Benguet and Apayao, three in Ifugao, four in Kalinga, and six in the Mountain Province.

Manio added that there are three closed roads in Region 1, but stressed that Ilocos is now passable. Region 2 has three sections closed due to overflowing water over the Cabagan Bridge in Cabagan, Isabela. Region 3 also has five roads closed --  two in Aurora and three in Nueva Ecija.

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