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(Updated 7:20 p.m.) The number of casualties from Tropical Storm Sendong has breached the 1,000 mark, making it the deadliest cyclone to hit the Philippines in the last 12 years.
President Benigno Aquino III, who visited the storm-ravaged cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in Northern Mindanao on Tuesday, has already declared a state of national calamity due to the massive devastation caused by Sendong. Data culled by GMA News Research had earlier tagged Tropical Depression Winnie in 2004 as the deadliest cyclone to hit the country since 2000, with 893 casualties.
On Wednesday, however, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the number of casualties from Sendong has breached the 1,000 mark.
"Lumagpas na sa 1,000 yung bilang ng patay," NRRMC executive director Benito Ramos told anchor Ivan Mayrina in an interview aired over GMA News TV's On Call. That is more than double the deaths in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ondoy in 2009 that so traumatized Metro Manila.
He said this number includes casualties from regions VII, IX, X, XI, ARMM and CARAGA.
Ramos specifically said 650 of the casulaties come from Cagayan de Oro; 283 from Iligan; and 17 from Bukidnon.
In NDRRMC's update as of Wednesday 6 p.m., the death toll has reached 1,010 with 1,603 injured and 46 still missing. It likewise said that the number of families affected by Sendong stood at 65,608 or 502,599 persons.
It also said that 14,520 houses were damaged by Sendong, with 4,812 totally destroyed and 9,708 partially damaged. It added that the estimated cost of damages to infrastructure, agriculture, and school buildings amounted to P999,946,415.
Ramos said the death toll is still expected to rise since the flood waters have subsided. "Maglulutangan na ngayon ang mga bangkay kasi yung tao kung namatay at nalunod mga tatlong araw hindi pa lulutang yan pero pag bloated na, yung tumaba na, eh lulutang na yan," he said.
But Ramos said that they are also focused on providing relief for those who were affected by Sendong.
"Yung basic need ng mga tao dun ang pinagtutuunan [namin] ng pansin," he said,
According to GMA News Research, the following are the deadliest cyclones to hit the country in the last 12 years aside from Sendong: TD Winnie (2004; 893 casualties), Typhoon Reming (2006; 734 casualties); TY Frank (2008; 557 casualties), TS Pepeng (2009; 465 casualties), TS Ondoy (2009; 464 casualties), TY Nanang (2001; 236 casualties), TY Milenyo (2006; 213 casualties), TY Feria (2001; 188 casualties), Reming (2000; 114 casualties), and TY Basyang (2010; 102 casualties). — LBG/HS/KBK, GMA News