Philippines: Death Toll Rises from Floods, Landslides in Storm’s Wake

Jojo Riñoza
Dagupan, Philippines
2021-10-14
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Philippines: Death Toll Rises from Floods, Landslides in Storm’s Wake People wade through flooded streets in the business district of Dagupan City, Philippines, in the aftermath of Severe Tropical Storm Kompasu (Maring), Oct. 14, 2021.
Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews

Search and rescue teams have recovered more bodies of people killed in storm-induced landslides and floods in the Philippines, raising the death toll to 30, officials said Thursday.

The toll included 14 people killed by flash floods in coastal towns in Ilocos Norte province and another nine who were buried by landslides in the mountains of Benguet province, according to national disaster management officials.

Both provinces are on Luzon, the northern island that is home to Metropolitan Manila. The other victims came from Cagayan and Pangasinan – also on Luzon – and from Palawan, an island-province in the western Philippines, officials said.

“According to a report by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, as of Oct. 14, 2021, we have 30 deaths, three injured and 14 missing,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.  

“We sympathize [with] and offer condolences to the families of those who died in the storm.”

Roque said that more than 7,000 people were huddled at 124 evacuation centers on Thursday after Tropical Storm Kompasu dumped nearly 25 inches of rain after making landfall on Monday evening. 

Crop damage from the storm, meanwhile, had reached an estimated 692 million pesos (U.S. $13.65 million), Roque said, adding that the government had sent aid to affected farmers. 

When it made landfall in Cagayan on Monday night, Kompasu, which is known as Maring in the Philippines, brought winds of 100 kph (62.1 mph) near the center with gusts of up to 125 kph (77.6 mph), the national weather bureau said. 

Regions flooded

On Thursday, much of the commercial district in Dagupan City, in Pangasinan, remained inundated by several inches of fetid water. Officials said waters rose quickly after dams to the north released water to prevent them from breaching.

Elsewhere, roads remained impassible because of landslides in Nueva Era, a town in Ilocos Norte province. 

“Road clearing is ongoing,” Nueva Era Mayor Aldrin Garvida said. 

In nearby Ilocos Sur province, where 18,000 people were displaced by the storm and its side effects, many remain in evacuation centers. Gov. Ryan Singson said the province may be placed under a state of calamity because of the storm’s severity. 

“That’s what we’ll do next, we’re just waiting for the final assessment of damage before we can declare a state of calamity. As of now, these assessments are just partial ... once we get all the reports, we are most likely going to declare a state of calamity,” he said. 

About 20 tropical storms and typhoons strike the Philippines each year, some of them devastating. Kompasu was the 13th tropical storm to hit the country in 2021. 

In November 2013, at least 7,000 people died and scores were reported missing after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck the central Philippines and caused massive storm surges.  

Tropical Storm Ketsana, which flooded large parts of the capital Manila in 2009, resulted in more than 900 deaths, the state weather bureau said.  

Jeoffrey Maitem and Richel V. Umel in Cotabato City, Philippines, contributed to this report.

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