December 19, 2011 by staff
Typhoon Sendong, TROPICAL STORM Sendong (international name: Washi) exited the country yesterday with the death toll rising to more than 500, hundreds more missing and thousands of families affected, the government said yesterday.
As of 6 p.m., Undersecretary Benito T. Ramos, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director, tallied 516 casualties, majority of whom were from Iligan City (214) in Lanao del Norte, and Cagayan de Oro City (252) in Misamis Oriental, the two cities hit hardest by the storm.
The rest of the casualties were from Sibulan, Valencia, Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental; Zamboanga del Norte; Compostela Valley; and Bukidnon.
Mr. Ramos expects the numbers to rise as the country takes stock of the devastation mainly in Northern Mindanao.
“’Yung missing 274 pa, pero baka hindi [iyan] accurate… [We have 274 persons missing, but that may not be accurate],” said Mr. Ramos by phone, noting that verification is ongoing.
For its part, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has a higher casualty count as of 7 p.m.: 652 deaths and 808 others missing.
The cost of damage has yet to be assessed as the incident occurred at about 2 a.m. on Saturday.
Sendong on Friday made landfall in Surigao del Sur and moved westward over Northern Mindanao towards Palawan, according to the weather bureau.
The storm dumped over 181 millimeters (mm) of rainfall in 24 hours, equivalent to more than a month of rain, noted Mr. Ramos.
He likened the event to the destruction wrought by Ondoy (Ketsana) in September 2009, when more than 400 mm from continuous rain flooded Metro Manila and surrounding areas.
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