2017's deadliest: 'Urduja' leaves 41 dead

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 19 2017 12:29 PM

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At least 41 people were killed while 45 people have been reported missing due to tropical depression Urduja (international name: Kai-tak), authorities said Tuesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said 28 fatalities were from Biliran, 5 from Leyte, 3 from Masbate, 2 from Samar, and one each from Camarines Norte, Eastern Samar, and Surigao.

"'Yung iba mga mangingisda na pumalaot pa rin sa kasagsagan ng bagyo, yung iba dahil sa flooding, at merong napabalita rin na dahil sa landslide," NDRRMC spokesperson Romina Marasigan said.

(Some of them are fishermen who sailed despite the stormy weather, others died due to flooding, and there are also reports of people killed due to landslides.)

The Interior and Local Government is still verifying and validating victims' identities, Marasigan said.

She added 12,682 families remain in 381 evacuation centers, while 118 passengers are stranded in different ports.

"Unti-unti, bumababa na ang tubig baha sa mga lugar na nasalanta ng Urduja. Pero wag tayo magpasawalang bahala dahil kahit papalabas na ito ng Philippine Area of Responsibility ay magdadala pa rin ito ng malalakas na ulan," she said.

(Floods are gradually subsiding in areas affected by Urduja, but we should not be complacent. Even if it is exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility, it is still expected to cause heavy rains.)

Initial damage to infrastructure is estimated at P543.22 million.

At least 48 houses were totally destroyed, while 101 others were partially damaged. Most of the houses were from Masbate, Eastern Samar, and Leyte.

Electricity in Biliran, Eastern Samar, and the town of Lope de Vega in Samar has yet to be restored.

Two bridges in Biliran and a bridge in Romblon are still impassable.

Initial damage to agriculture is pegged at P3.75 million as rice and corn fields in Masbate, Sorsogon, and Camarines Sur were devastated by "Urduja" over the weekend.

Marasigan said the disaster agency is expecting to receive more reports of damage and casualties by Tuesday afternoon.