Floods, landslides displace 684,153 persons in Bicol, Visayas, and Mindanao

News Source : https://www.mb.com By ELENA L. ABEN

Phillipines

MANILA, Philippines – The massive flooding and a series of landslides in the Bicol region, Visayas, and Mindanao continue to wreak havoc in 24 provinces, with the number of displaced people reaching 684,153 while the death toll has increased to 29 as of Friday morning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported. Based on the 6 a.m. NDRRMC bulletin, a total of 843 barangays in Regions 4B, 7, 8, 10, 11, Caraga, and ARMM are now affected by the massive flooding and landslides triggered by rains brought about by the tail-end of a cold front. Of the seven affected regions, Caraga had the biggest number of displaced persons with 76,078 families or 399,403 people, followed by Region 8 with 30,889 families or 163,888 people. Bicol region ranked third, with 14,966 affected families or 71,569 people. The number of deaths due to bad weather went up to 29, with the latest fatalities identified as Eserio Daniel, 47, of Barangay Popongon, Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte; Armando Batilaran, 70, of Barangay Caimpugan, San Francisco, Agusan del Sur; and Bryl Jake Mondejar, 1, of Barangay Don Alejandro, San Luis, Agusan del Sur. All three died due to drowning. The number of injured also rose to eight, with three more persons – one of them a policeman – reported hurt from separate landslide incidents in Southern Leyte. They were Rowen Libres, 23, and Stephanie Libres, 2, both of Sogod; and Police Officer 3 Noel Talisic of Libagon, Southern Leyte Meanwhile, estimated damage to agriculture was placed at P62.47 million and infrastructure at P120.76 million or a total of P183.26 million. At least 334 houses were likewise damaged – 135 totally and 199 partially destroyed. Last Thursday afternoon, troops from the Army's 19th Infantry Battalion evacuated 46 families from St. Bernard, Southern Leyte, which was hit by a landslide. As evacuation by land was not possible after landslides rendered roads leading to the affected barangays inaccessible, 46 families were airlifted by two UH-1H helicopters of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) to safer grounds. The DRRU Company of the 8th Infantry Division remains on standby alert for possible deployment to Eastern Visayas.