6 dead in Davao floods, landslides

Michael Punongbayan, Diana Lhyd Suelto - The Philippine Star
6 dead in Davao floods, landslides
Philippine Coast Guard members help evacuate residents affected by flooding in Davao in this photo posted on the PCG’s Facebook page.

MANILA, Philippines — Heavy rainfall spawned by the trough of a low-pressure area (LPA) in Davao region has reportedly left six persons dead.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) was still validating the fatalities reported in Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental and Davao City.

As of yesterday, the NDRRMC had confirmed only one death, six injuries and one missing in Davao de Oro.

Reports from local authorities said most of the fatalities were buried in landslides in Marugasan town.

The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) office in Davao said 72,000 families or 278,000 residents of 262 barangays in the region were affected.

At least 12,978 families or 44,720 people remained in 183 evacuation centers.

The OCD said Davao del Norte has the most number of affected residents at 34,000 families followed by Davao Oriental with 23,000; Davao de Oro, 12,000, and Davao City, 2,000.

Several bridges remained impassable in Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental due to high water levels.  Roads affected by landslides remained closed to motorists.

In Caraga, rains caused by the trough of the LPA have displaced 22,405 families or 79,696 people since last week.

At least 2,118 families or 7,071 people took shelter in 58 evacuation centers.

Agriculture damage hits P173 million

The Department of Agriculture (DA) said damage to agriculture in Caraga and Davao has increased to P173 million.

Losses amounting to P66 million were reported in Davao de Oro alone, DA Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Arnel de Mesa said.

He said 11,000 hectares of rice fields and 584 hectares of corn fields in the region were submerged in floodwaters.

“For high-value crops, it’s about 310 hectares. The total affected (agricultural areas) covered about 12,000 hectares,” De Mesa said.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said its members rescued 1,317 people affected by flooding and landslides.

The PCG said 743 residents of Davao Oriental, 433 in Davao de Oro, 57 in Davao del Norte and 66 others in Davao City were brought to evacuation centers in coordination with their respective provincial disaster risk reduction and management councils.

The evacuees were provided the necessary assistance until it was deemed safe for them to return to their homes.

The PCG said it continues to monitor the water levels in rivers in Davao City. — Bella Cariaso, Ghio Ong

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