Storm Nalgae death toll climbs to 48 in the Philippines, 22 missing

Motorists wade through a flooded road following heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Nalgae in Metro Manila on Oct 30, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
Rescuers carry a body retrieved in the landslide-hit village of Kusiong, in southern Philippines on Oct 29, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
A resident carrying belongings walks amongst debris from a landslide in Kusiong, Philippines, on Oct 29, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

MANILA - The death toll from flooding and rain-induced landslides in the Philippines has climbed to 48, the country’s disaster agency said on Sunday, with 22 others recorded missing after tropical storm Nalgae inundated many parts of the archipelago.

Some 40 people were reported injured, while nearly 170,000 are sheltering in evacuation centres, government data showed.

The storm exited land areas after barrelling across the country over the weekend, including the capital, Manila.

Authorities have started clearing affected roads and bridges as floods subsided in some areas. Most of the 170,000 individuals in over 2,000 evacuation centres have begun returning to their homes, the disaster-management agency said.

Most of the casualties were recorded in the southern autonomous region of Bangsamoro, where 40 people died due to landslides, with 10 still missing, the disaster agency added.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr on Saturday ordered urgent aid distribution in hard-hit areas.

He has also ordered officials to declare a state of calamity in provinces badly affected by Nalgae.

Mr Marcos wants a declaration to cover the Bicol region in the southernmost part of Luzon and Bangsamoro, his press secretary said in a statement.

The President is also weighing a recommendation from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to declare a national state of calamity for one year, which would trigger a price freeze and the release of emergency funds.

More than 4 million Filipinos experienced power interruptions due to storm Nalgae, the most so far this year, GMA News reported, citing Manila Electric Co. of that, some 500,000 customers remained without power as of 10am on Sunday, most of whom were in the Manila capital region and neighbouring provinces, it said.

While the weather bureau expects Nalgae to leave the Philippines by Tuesday, it said a new, weaker storm is approaching the nation.

In a bulletin at 11am on Sunday, it said a tropical depression was spotted 1,250km east of north-eastern Mindanao, moving at a speed of 15kmh. The new cyclone, with maximum sustained winds of 45kmh and gusts of up to 55kmh, may approach Mindanao’s Surigao del Sur province around 8pm on Monday, it said. 

Nalgae, which made landfall five times, is this year’s second-most deadly cyclone to hit the Philippines, which sees an average of 20 tropical storms annually. REUTERS, BLOOMBERG

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