MANILA - Tropical storm Dante left three people dead and P14.6 million worth of damage in agriculture as it lashed parts of Mindanao and the Visayas beginning early this week, government agencies said Wednesday.
In its 8 a.m. bulletin, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said that aside from the three fatalities, there were two others who were injured while 1 went missing in the regions of Davao and Soccsksargen.
The fatalities are the following:
- Male, 1 year old from Panoraon in Davao de Oro (cause: suffocation due to mud and debris)
- Male, 71 years old from Malalag, Davao del Sur (cause: flash flood due to heavy rain)
- Female, 14 years old from Norala in South Cotabato (awaiting further details on cause of death)
The missing person is a 55-year-old male from Norala town.
The storm, which was headed to Oriental Mindoro's eastern coast as of Wednesday morning, has affected 566 families or 2,642 individuals in the said regions.
Of those, 158 families or 604 people are in evacuation centers, the NDRRMC said.
Thousands of families also reportedly fled their homes in Albay in anticipation of the storm.
Flooding incidents were recorded in Soccsksargen and the Bangsamoro regions.
Authorities "continue to monitor" the situation, with the NDRRMC issuing warnings and reminders to local governments, said Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque.
The social welfare department has P1.105 billion in total standby funds, including P113 million worth of 222,382 family food packs, he said.
The Philippine Coast Guard, meanwhile, is assisting in evacuation and rescue operations in flooded areas, he added.
Roque said authorities have also started clearing operations.
"The safety of everyone remains our main concern. Let us therefore remain alert and vigilant, and cooperate with authorities while observing the minimum public health standards against COVID-19 during this storm," Roque said in a statement.
CROPS DOWN, TRIPS CANCELED, WORK SUSPENDED
Meanwhile, based on the Department of Agriculture's disaster response monitoring as of Wednesday morning, Dante left P14.6 million worth of agricultural damage, which were mostly recorded in parts of Mindanao.
This included 616 hectares of agricultural areas in and 500 metric tons of production loss in Soccsksargen and Caraga regions, which were mostly rice and corn yields.
The weather disturbance also affected 447 farmers and fisherfolk, as it continues to lash Luzon, the agency noted.
The NDRRMC said that with the cancellation of sea trips, 1,189 passengers, 113 rolling cargoes and 7 vessels were stranded in various ports in Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions.
Three cities and municipalities in Eastern Visayas and Caraga experienced power interruption on Tuesday.
The bad weather due to Dante also prompted some local government units in parts of the said regions to suspend work and classes.
The country's fourth storm this year is forecast to make a 6th landfall in Bataan on Wednesday night.
It was last spotted over the northwestern coastal waters of Oriental Mindoro at 1 p.m., moving northwest at 25 kilometers per hour (kph) while packing maximum winds of 65 kph and gusts of up to 90 kph.
PAGASA expects the storm to weaken into a tropical depression on Thursday.
"Hindi na po ito lalabas ng PAR dahil malulusaw siya or hihina siya bilang LPA (low pressure area)," PAGASA weather forecaster Ariel Rojas told reporters.
(It won't exit PAR because it will dissolve or weaken as an LPA.)