Ursula kills 41, leaves P1 billion infra, agri damage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2019 10:24 AM | Updated as of Dec 30 2019 12:54 AM

MANILA -- (UPDATE) At least 41 were killed in the onslaught of Christmas storm Ursula, disaster officials said Sunday.

Twelve remain missing, while 28 were wounded, as Ursula lashed the Visayas with fierce winds and heavy rains over the holidays, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).

The number of fatalities was highest in Western Visayas, where 20 died, followed by Eastern Visayas with 13, Mimaropa with 7, and 1 in Central Visayas.

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Most victims drowned, while others were hit by felled trees, electrocuted, figured in a vehicular accident, or suffered from cardiac arrest, according to NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Timbal.

Timbal said there was a need for tighter evacuation protocols such as ordinances banning liquor and urging residents to stay indoors during a storm.

"Walang magpapagala-gala muna o mag-hold ng land travel. Kung indoors lang po ang lahat ng tao at nakasilong wala po siguro mababagsakan ng puno," he told radio DZMM.

The storm, which left Philippine territory on Saturday morning, damaged some P1 billion worth of crops and infrastructure in Mimaropa, Bicol, and the Visayas, the NDRRMC said.

Several areas in Leyte, Aklan, Eastern Samar and Oriental Mindoro were placed under a state of calamity for local governments to access emergency funds to aid thousands who scrambled to evacuation centers over the holidays.

-- With reports from Henry Atuelan, ABS-CBN News