AT LEAST nine people were reported to have died and 11 were missing on Tuesday as heavy rain from severe tropical storm Maring, with international name Kompasu, triggered floods and landslides in the Philippines, according to the national disaster management council.
The disaster agency said it was verifying information from its regional units that reported four people killed in landslides in northern Benguet province and five killed in flash floods in Palawan.
The Mimaropa regional police has confirmed at least four people died in the town of Narra in Palawan.
The Benguet provincial government, in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, said five casualties have been confirmed, including three siblings who died when their house was destroyed by a landslide.
Emergency responders were conducting search and rescue operations for 11 people missing mostly after landslides.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte was monitoring the government’s disaster response, according to his spokesperson, Herminio “Harry” L. Roque, Jr. on Tuesday.
Rescue personnel were at the scene, while power and water restoration and road clearing was ongoing, he added.
The Department of Public Works and Highways reported that as of Tuesday morning, 15 road sections mostly in provinces in northern Luzon were closed to all types of vehicles due to fallen trees, land and mud slide, flooding, or damaged bridge.
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Maring was already out of the Philippine territory but cyclone wind signal #2 — which means damaging gale-force to storm-force winds — was still up in the northernmost islands of Batanes and Babuyan. A lower cyclone wind signal alert #1 was also still in effect in several northern provinces.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands is hit by about 20 storms or typhoons annually. — with reports from Reuters and Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR