MANILA, Philippines – The death toll from the devastation of Typhoon Lando (Koppu) across northern and central Luzon has climbed to 41, with more than 1.2 million people affected.
Most of the deaths came from the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), according to the official tally of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Thursday, October 22.
- Pangasinan – 7
- Nueva Vizcaya – 2
- Cagayan – 1
- Zambales – 3
- Tarlac – 1
- Nueva Ecija – 2
- Aurora – 1
- Benguet – 15
- Ifugao – 3
- Abra – 1
- Baguio City – 2
National Capital Region – 2
Region IV-A – 1
A separate tally by international news agency Agence France-Presse, however, put the death toll at 54, citing figures from national and local authorities.
At least 78 people were also reported injured across the 6 regions, while 5 were reported missing in CAR and Regions I and II.
The NDRRMC also said more than 268,000 families, or about 1.24 million people, were affected in 7 regions.
More than 25,000 families are still seeking shelter in 455 evacuation centers, while displaced families from Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, and Rizal have returned to their homes.
Inundations from torrential weekend rains in mountain regions caused by the typhoon cascaded into coastal fishing and farming villages, submerging them in waters up to three meters (10 feet) deep, officials said.
Residents of Bulacan and Pampanga province, around two hours’ drive from the capital Manila, fled by foot to evacuation centers as the waters rose quickly overnight, aggravated by a high tide, they said.
“The waters have nowhere else to go. Imagine two to three days worth of rain from the mountains coming down,” Nigel Lontoc, assistant director of the region’s civil defense office, told AFP.
Close to 60,000 people left their homes in Bulacan and Pampanga, a geographic catch basin for waters from the upland provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora, which bore the brunt of Koppu on Sunday and Monday.
Lontoc said the floods in the coastal areas may last a week.
A total of 755 flooding incidents were reported in Pangasinan, Isabela, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Bulacan, Pampanga, Zambales, Cagayan, and Benguet, according to the NDRRMC.
Three days since the typhoon hit land in Aurora, relief goods and government aid have finally begun to reach the hard-hit province.
The typhoon made landfall in the town of Casiguran early Sunday, leaving “100%” of infrastructure damaged and power and communication lines cut off.
Lando has since weakened into a low pressure area as of Wednesday, October 21.
Agri, infra damage
Agriculture suffered the biggest damage in the aftermath of Lando, with the typhoon sweeping across regions where farming is the main source of livelihood. (READ: Nueva Ecija: Destroyed rice, vegetable farms everywhere)
The NDRRMC pegged the damage to agriculture at P6.43 billion. Damage to infrastructure was pegged at P902 million, bringing the total to P7.33 billion.
More than 18,000 houses have been damaged in CAR and Regions I, II, and III.
At least 11 bridges and 101 road sections remain impassable in these regions. – with reports from Agence France-Presse/Rappler.com