Malaya, Thursday 20 January 2011
THE death toll from weeks of continuous heavy rains in 11 regions yesterday rose to 59 from 54, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Also yesterday, the Navy rescued 34 passengers and crewmen of a boat that capsized in Palawan on January 16.
Three crewmen remain missing. This brings to 35 the total number of missing persons.
The NDRRMC reported that a landslide sensor installed by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau in landslide-prone St. Bernard town in Leyte was stolen two days ago.
A week ago, two river sensors of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in Pangasinan and Tarlac were also stolen, compromising the government’s monitoring of flooding.
"We may not be able to issue warning on landslides," said Benito Ramos, NDRRMC executive director and head of the Office of Civil Defense, when asked on the effect of the theft of the landslide sensor.
The NDRRMC said the number affected people also increased to 323,149 families or 1,650,754 individuals, with 12,523 families staying in evacuation centers.
There was also a slight rise in damage to infrastructure, agriculture and private property, now at P1.78 billion.
The five new fatalities recorded by the NDRRMC were victims of drowning.
The vessel F/B Jonathan capsized off Paly island in Taytay town because of strong winds and turbulent water.
Navy spokesman Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the Navy’s BRP Rizal reached the area yesterday and found the 34 rescued "clinging to the debris of the boat."
The three missing were identified as Bong Escondo, Bito Roldan and Limuel Tirincio.
The Philippine Red Cross appealed for donations amid the continuous heavy rains and flooding and for the effects of the La Niña phenomenon, which means more rains than normal.PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said needed are mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, tents, rice, sardines, noodles, toothbrush and toothpaste, bath soap, sanitary napkins, shampoo, towels, and medicinal alcohol. – With Gerard Naval