Thursday, 29 December 2011 13:20
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is rectifying its double entries in the number of fatalities and missing persons brought about by Tropical Storm “Sendong” (international code Washi).
In its latest situation report as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, NDRRMC drastically revised the number of missing from a high of 1,079 on Monday to only 84 mainly due to double entries inadvertently listed by various government agencies in the aftermath of disaster floods that hit northern Mindanao and some parts of the Visayas.
Ms. Emilia Tadeo of the NDRRMC confirmed to the Philippines News Agency about the discrepancy but stressed it was not intentionally done.
For example, Tadeo said the name of Robert was reported as “missing” by a relative but a day or two later a neighbor reported the name as Roberto which again was listed as “missing.”
“In such a case we have to rectify it,” Tadeo said in Pilipino.
She also said that the present figure of 1,453 dead could be altered depending on the verification being conducted by the NDRRMC.
However, she said the 4,594 injured and 441 rescued are correct.
Tadeo hopes the correct figures will be known later Tuesday.
Sendong was the deadliest cyclone to batter the country this year in terms of the number of fatalities. Surging floodwaters, accompanied by lumbering logs cut by illegal loggers in the mountains rolled down to urban areas, particularly in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan – the worst hit cities.
Illegal loggers have been blamed for the floods experienced for the first time in Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City.
Complicating the bad situation was the tons of mud that were dumped by "Sendong" that virtually covered a wide area - unprecedented in northern Mindanao.
The storm also destroyed completely 12,525 houses and structures and partially damaged 26,912 other structures.
Thousands drowned in their sleep as floodwaters roared in the dead of the night of Dec. 16.
Search continued for the 11th day in a row with rescue workers hoping to recover casualties buried in mud and heavy logs.
The NDRRMC said that some remains already in the state of decomposition were retrieved floating in the sea some 100 kilometers from the shore.
Divers from the Philippine Navy and Philippine Coast Guard have intensified their search the past few days racing against time to recover the dead scattered in a wide area in northern Mindanao.
By Ben Cal-PNA
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