MANILA - Three people drowned while 2 remain missing in Surigao del Sur after Tropical depression Vicky's onslaught over the weekend, its governor said Monday.
All 17 towns and cities in the province were inundated, Governor Alexander Pimentel said. Flood in some towns have subsided and 5,000 families who evacuated have begun to return to their homes, he added.
The towns of Madrid and Hinatuan were the hardest hit as these were the closest to Baganga, Davao Oriental where Vicky made its first landfall last Friday.
"Ngayon lang talaga, ngayon lang bagyo na to yung grabe. Masyado malakas ang ulan at alam mo naman dito sa probinsiya ang Surigao del Sur ay coastal area, 17 municipalities and cities nandito sa harap ng Pacific Ocean.. dun sa San Miguel baha pa rin," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(This happened to us only now. The rain was too strong and you know the province of Surigao del Sur is a coastal area, 17 municipalities and cities face the Pacific Ocean. Only one town, San Miguel, is on the inner part but its still flooded.)
The governor also attributed the severe flooding due to illegal mining.
"Sa Barobo kung saan maraming illegal miners, na inisyuhan ko last year pa ng cease and desist order kasi meron silang illegal gold mining diyan, mga bahay diyan along the riverside, 30 kabahayan ang na-washout," he said.
(In Borobo, where there are a lot of illegal miners I have issued a cease and desist order last year, 30 houses along the riverside were washed out.)
The storm left some P20 million worth of damage in infrastructure and in the province, Pimentel said.
The declaration of a state of calamity will depend on the recommendation of the provincial disaster office, he added.
At least 6 others were reported dead Sunday in Agusan del Sur and Leyte following Vicky's devastation.
The tropical depression left the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday afternoon after lashing large swaths of Mindanao and some parts of Visayas and Luzon.