'Quinta' leaves 6 dead, 3 missing


Posted at Dec 27 2012 10:16 AM | Updated as of Dec 28 2012 04:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The death toll from Tropical Depression Quinta has climbed to 6, disaster management officials said on Thursday.

Three of the fatalities were members of the Busa family in Maydolong town, Eastern Samar.

The victims, Kimjie, 7; Rodrigo, 56; and Rosita, 50, died after a tree fell on their home.

Office of Civil Defense-Western Visayas director Rosario Cabrera, meanwhile, said three drowned in Iloilo.

They were identified as Warlito Lutero of Janiuay town; and Erlinda Almorante and Arnulfo Bayutas, both of Barotac Nuevo town.

Three others are also missing in Iloilo, Leyte and Batangas. Two of them were identified as Mario Austria, 55, of Batangas; and Julio Noya Silvano, 36, of Leyte.

The Coast Guard has deployed more rescue teams.

Thousands displaced

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Benito Ramos said at least 2,431 families or 13,521 persons from Western Visayas, Central Visayas and Eastern Visayas were affected by Quinta.

Quinta triggered floods in the Visayas, forcing 1,098 families or 6,065 persons to evacuate. They are now staying in 18 evacuation centers.

Quinta was downgraded to a low pressure area as it moved away from the country, and was expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility early Friday.

Storm signals across the country have been lifted.

"The worst is over because it has weakened into a low pressure area and is now 220 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa (City). Later tonight or around 1 a.m, it may be already out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility, the worst is over," Ramos said.

Ramos added that the effects of Quinta are "minimal," based on initial information.

Stranded passengers

The number of stranded passengers in seaports is down to 9,000 from a high of nearly 12,000.

Coast Guard spokesman Armando Balilo said some ships have already been allowed to sail.

Authorities had cancelled trips during the onslaught of Quinta.

The Coast Guard remains on heightened alert, monitoring areas affected by the storm. -- With a report from ANC