MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm “Ofel” battered parts of Visayas and Mindanao, leaving at least 1 person dead and 9 others missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
NDRRMC identified the casualty as 88-year-old Sophia Recto of Marinduque, who allegedly died of hypothermia.
Seven of the missing individuals were identified as Jonrey Acaso, Jonnie Ocson, Rigel Saycon, Abet Posto, Ariel Posto, Climente Umban Jr., and Muhammad
Kanape Guiamad. Two others are still unidentified.
NDRRMC also reported that more than 16,000 passengers were stranded in various ports across the country because of rough seas caused by the storm.
Heavy rains triggered knee-deep floods in Barangay Baluan, which is considered the catch basin of General Santos City.
Hectares of farmland were submerged, as well as roads, forcing some residents to wade through floodwaters.
Around 70 families from Barangay Lagao had to evacuate and only returned to their homes Thursday morning.
Residents are blaming the sudden rise of water on the city's damaged drainage.
The storm also triggered a landslide in Palanog, Tacloban City, burying three homes and forcing the evacuation of 10 families.
Aside from landslides, residents also worried about flash floods.
Raging waters destroyed three homes in Tacloban.
In Leyte, a landslide forced at least 100 families to abandon their homes.
The area was also cordoned off to stop residents from going back to their houses.
More than 400 residents had to be preemptively evacuated in Oriental Mindoro due to floods. Three children were rescued in Odiongan, Romblon.
PAGASA said the storm is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Friday.
As of posting, storm signal number 1 remains hoisted over Metro Manila, Bataan, Zambales, Cavite, Batangas, northern part of Mindoro and Lubang island. -- With reports from Francis Canlas, ABS-CBN News Southern Mindanao; Sharon Evite, ABS-CBN News Tacloban; Sarita Kare, ABS-CBN News Southern Tagalog; ANC