'Ruby' death toll climbs to 18
Louis Bacani (The Philippine Star) - December 11, 2014 - 10:35am

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED/CORRECTED) - The government's official death toll from tropical cyclone 'Ruby' climbed to 18, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Thursday.

The NDRRMC's latest report showed that the newest fatalities were from Eastern Visayas and died mostly due to drowning. Four were children aged less than 10.

The agency earlier placed the death toll at 19, but corrected it later. In a televised press briefing, NDRRMC executive director Alex Pama admitted committing the error, saying he counted one fatality twice.

The number of injured people also ballooned to 916 and were mostly from Eastern Visayas as well.

Ruby affected 2.7 million people including over 200,000 families who remain evacuated from their homes.

The NDRRMC said the previously reported floods in the Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions have subsided. However, six damaged bridges in the Cagayan Valley and Bicol regions remain unpassable while 13 provinces in four regions are still experiencing power outages.

The tropical cyclone, which reached super typhoon status before hitting land over the weekend, damaged 8,192 houses and destroyed 35,110 more.

The cost of Ruby's damage to infrastructure and agriculture was pegged at P1.27 billion and P1.9 billion, respectively.

Ruby exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday evening, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

ALEX PAMA BILLION CAGAYAN VALLEY AND BICOL CALABARZON AND MIMAROPA CORRECTED EASTERN VISAYAS NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NDRRMC PHILIPPINE AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY REGIONS RUBY
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