At least 48 dead, 48K displaced as 'Paeng' weakens over West Philippine Sea

At least 48 dead, 48K displaced as 'Paeng' weakens over West Philippine Sea
Rescuers carry a dead body on a body bag, retrieved in the landslide-hit village of Kusiong in Datu Odin Sinsuat in the southern Philippines' Maguindanao province on October 29, 2022. Severe Tropical Storm Nalgae whipped the Philippines on October 29 after unleashing flash floods and landslides that officials said left at least 45 people dead.
AFP / Ferdinandh Cabrera

MANILA, Philippines — The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported 48 deaths, with 33 of the confirmed casualties from the Bangsamoro region, due to tropical storm Paeng (international name: Nalgae).

Among the 48 reported casualties, 37 have been confirmed, while 11 reported deaths have yet to be validated. Paeng also left 40 injured, while 22 individuals remain missing. Casualties may rise as local disaster management councils send in reports to the NDRRMC.

The storm left 714 houses damaged, with damage estimated at P38.95 million. 

Paeng weakened into a tropical storm category at 2 a.m. on Sunday after passing through the vicinity of Candelaria in Zambales. The state weather bureau’s 5 a.m. bulletin estimated Paeng’s center was 85 kilometers west northwest of Iba, Zambales. 

While moving over the West Philippine Sea, PAGASA expects Paeng to re-intensify into a severe tropical storm in the next 24 hours. Paeng may srengthen into a typhoon category by Monday evening or Tuesday morning, before weakening by late Tuesday due to another surge of the Northeast Monsoon.

READ: Now outside Luzon, Paeng weakens into tropical storm 

Paeng affected 277,383 families and 932,077 individuals cross 14 regions in the country, from Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon to Central Visayas, the Davao Region, and down to the Caraga and Bangsamoro region. 

The NDRRMC reported 40,319 individuals were evacuated before the onslaught of the storm.

Despite this though, 364,746 individuals have been displaced and half of whom have since been evacuated across 2,125 of the country’s evacuation centers. Assistance worth P5.11 million has been distributed so far, mostly through the form of family food packs. 

Organizations such as the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children have expressed intent to support government-led response. UNICEF on Saturday said it is already coordinating with the Bangsamoro government to assess the needed response to aid children and their families in the region. 

Meanwhile, agricultural damage was estimated at P54.965 million, affecting the livelihoods of over 500 farmers and fisherfolk. — Kaycee Valmonte

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