78 dead, 21 missing in Bicol due to "Usman", monsoon rains
Fatalities caused by landslides and flooding mostly in the Bicol Region due to Tropical Storm "Usman" and prevailing bad weather systems rose to 78, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC), Tuesday.
The council added that 21 were missing. Majority of the cases were reported in Mimaropa ( Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan), Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.
"We already have unofficial, for verification 75 deaths and 16 missing. Most of the cases are caused by landslides than drowning due to flashfloods, " NDRRMC spokesperson Director Edgar Posadas said in a radio interview over dzMM.
"For Region Five, out of 75 (total deaths) there are 59. It encompasses different provinces including Albay, Masbate and Catanduanes," Posadas said.
The NDRRMC said 24, 894 persons were in 170 evacuation centers in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
Landslides, also caused by days of rains in Bicol, occurred when "Usman" made landfall in Borongan City, Eastern Samar on the morning of December 29. It weakened into a low pressure area before it became a tropical depression as "Usman" left the country, a report by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (Pagasa) said.
Northeast monsoon is expected in areas. including Cagayan Valley, Aurora and Quezon which will bring light to moderate rains causing possible landslides and flashfloods, NDRRMC said.
The council said flashfloods and landslides over Visayas and Mindanao are expected due to isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS