The death toll from a tropical storm that ravaged the Philippines has been significantly reduced, with only 45 people killed.
The civil defense office reported 72 dead, 14 missing, and 33 injured. Still, civil defense officials admitted on Friday that rescue teams sent to the countries flood-ravaged south had erred in their reporting, resulting in some deaths being counted twice.
“When we consolidated the reports at 6 a.m. today, we realized there were merely 40 dead, 31 injured, and 15 missing,” Naguib Sinarimbo, the southern region’s spokesman and civil defense chief, said Saturday.
Rafaelito Alejandro, the national civil defense chief, confirmed the lower sculpture at a news forum in Manila, saying 40 bodies had been recovered from the disaster in Mindanao’s southern region. According to Alejandro, five more people had been killed elsewhere in the country.
After hitting land on the sparsely populated Catanduanes Island before dawn, Tropical Storm Nalgae hit the country’s central island of Luzon with the highest winds of 95km/h (59mph).
The approaching storm triggered heavy rains in the southern Philippines on Thursday, according to the state weather service, inundating mostly rural areas on Mindanao Island.
Landslides and flooding followed, with fast-moving, debris-laden waters sweeping away family members in some areas and damaging nearly 500 homes.
Flash floods with debris and mud from primarily heavily forested mountainsides have been one of the deadliest hazards caused by typhoons in the Philippines in recent years.
Rescuers are concentrating their efforts in the village of Kusiong, where several bodies were discovered after the floods on Friday.
Flooding was also documented in several areas of the Philippines’ central region. There were no reported deaths.
Rescuers used an old refrigerator as just an improvised boat to lift children from a flooded community on the main island of Leyte, according to photos released by the coastguard.
The state weather service predicted that Nalgae would bring “intense, with at times torrential rains” to the capital, Manila, a sprawling metropolis of additionally than 13 million people.
“Widespread flooding and rain-induced landslides are expected,” adding that there was a “minimal to moderate risk of storm surge” or massive waves hitting coastal areas.
“Based on our projections, this one is powerful,” Alejandro added that 5,000 rescue teams were ready to go.
He urged people in the storm’s path to stay put until the storm flew into the South China Sea earlier Sunday.
“If it’s not required or important, we should avoid going out today because it’s dangerous and could because you harm,” Alejandro advised.
According to the civil defense office, more than 7,000 people were vacated before the storm’s landfall.
Due to rough seas, the coastguard has suspended ferry services throughout most archipelago nations, stranding hundreds of vessels and passengers at ports.
So far, the civil aviation office has been forced to cancel more than 100 flights.
The storm hit the start of a long weekend in the Philippines when millions of people return to their hometowns to visit relatives’ graves.
Every year, the Philippines is hit by an average of 20 major storms, which kill hundreds of people and keep vast regions impoverished.
Scientists have warned that as the world heats due to climate change, such storms, which also kill livestock and demolish critical infrastructure, will become more powerful.