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Death toll from storm 'Ondoy' continues to rise - NDCC

September 28, 2009 7:59am
The death toll from tropical storm "Ondoy" (international name Ketsana) rose to 86 as of early Monday morning, but may go much higher as authorities verify reports of more deaths caused by the cyclone.

As of 6 a.m., the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) also shifted the focus of its efforts from search-and-rescue to relief work.

"Right now we will concentrate really on providing food and other necessities," NDCC chairman and Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said at the NDCC's 6 a.m. briefing.

Teodoro said that as of 6 a.m. Monday, NDCC figures showed "Ondoy" had affected 86,313 families or 435,646 people. Of these, 23,126 families or 115,890 people were brought to 204 evacuation centers.

Ondoy struck Luzon on Saturday, bringing epic proportions of floodwater in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon. [See: Epic flood in Metro Manila caused by record rainfall]

The death toll rose to at least 86, including seven in Metro Manila, 22 in Central Luzon, and 56 in Southern Luzon. Of the fatalities, five were military personnel trying to rescue residents affected by a landslide in Laguna province.

But Teodoro said the 86 does not include 12 reported deaths in Antipolo City, 29 in Quezon City, and 58 in Marikina City. At least 32 people remained missing, he added.

Damage to property was initially reported at P60 million, including P41.1 million in damage to infrastructure, P19.2 million in damage to schools, and P212,000 in damage to agriculture.

Blue alert

Meanwhile, dzBB reported the Department of Health placed all public hospitals placed on blue alert, meaning all medical personnel are to be on duty 24 hours a day.

Also, the DOH had medical personnel prepare anti-tetanus shots.

On the other hand, the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAP) said at least 50 of its members in Metro Manila and Luzon were affected in Tanay and the cities of Marikina, Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Parañaque.

"Baka mag-advance sila ng payment sa future claims namin para makabawi... para makaserbisyo (We hope PhilHealth can advance payments for our future claims so we can continue operating)," PHAP president Rustico Jimenez said on dzBB radio.

Also in Manila, the US Embassy said some of its units would be closed for Monday, including those for visa appointment.

In Pasig City, vendors at the Mutya ng Pasig market had to move their stalls to the nearby church, according to a report by dzBB’s Manny Vargas. - GMANews.TV
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