'Agaton' death toll rises to 40

Posted at 01/18/14 12:10 PM

MANILA -- (2ND UPDATE) The death toll from tropical depression "Agaton," a former low pressure area (LPA) that lingered over the Visayas and Mindanao regions for days, has risen to 40, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Saturday.

In its 6 p.m. report, the NDRRMC said three more were confirmed dead after being buried in a landslide that hit Barangay Jagupit in Santiago, Agusan del Sur.

Seven others also died in a landslide in Tarragona, Davao Oriental; six in Cadianao, Dinagat Islands; and two in Bango and Monkayo, Compostela Valley.

Fifteen 15 people also drowned in Roxas in Zamboanga del Norte; Prosperidad, San Francisco and Bayugan City in Agusan del Sur; Maco, Monkayo and New Bataan in Compostela Valley; Jimenez in Misamis Occidental; Mainit, Bunawan and Taganaan in Surigao del Norte; and Lupon in Davao Oriental, it added.

A man also died of electrocution in Calamba, Misamis Occidental. Three others were confirmed dead in Monkayo, Compostela Valley and Alegria, Surigao del Norte but the causes of their death were not specified.

Five people in Zamboanga del Norte, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao del Norte remain missing, while 65 were injured.

The NDRRMC said at least 13 landslides and six flash flood incidents were reported around Mindanao.

Days of intermittent rains affected at least 123,444 families or 587,115 people. At least 52 roads and 21 bridges remain impassable.

Some 708 houses were totally destroyed while 918 others sustained damage.

Fourteen bridges, 44 roads and eight public infrastructures were damaged in Northern Mindanao, Davao Region and CARAGA. At least 17,144.18 hectares of agricultural crops were damaged in Davao Region and CARAGA.

Signal no. 1 still up

According to state weather bureau PAGASA, Agaton has maintained its strength as it remained almost stationary.

Agaton, which is slowly moving towards the Surigao provinces at just 5 kilometers per hour (kph), is still packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center.

As of 5 p.m., it was spotted 175 kilometers east of Surigao City.

Signal number 1 remains hoisted over Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.

In an interview on ANC, weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar said Agaton is forecast to make landfall in Surigao del Sur tonight.

Once it hits land, it is expected to weaken and be downgraded back to a low pressure area within 24 hours.

Escullar advised affected residents to remain in evacuation centers until the tropical depression dissipates.