Agaton death toll: At least 40
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Tropical Depression Agaton has left 40 dead as of Saturday evening, January 18, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In its 6 pm status update, it said that 65 people are injured and 5 are missing. These reports came from Regions 9, 10, 11 and Caraga.
Meanwhile, 33,388 families or 161,808 persons were displaced by floods in Regions 10, 11 and Caraga, when Agaton barrelled into east Mindanao. They are now being served in 436 evacuation centers, said NDRMMC.
A total of 587,115 people from 15 provinces have been affected.
Agaton's strong winds and heavy rainfall caused 14 landslides and 6 incidents of flashflooding in Regions 8, 9, 10, 11, Caraga and ARMM.
The tropical depression has also cut lifelines and blocked access points. A total of 52 roads and 21 bridges are not passable in Regions 9, 10, 11 and Caraga.
Major rivers in Davao del Norte – Saug River and Libuganon River – have overflowed causing more flooding.
The NDRRMC pegs cost of damages so far at P314 million. Of this, P213 million is the cost of infrastructure damage while P155 million is the cost of agricultural damage.
Signal 1 has now been raised over the following provinces:
- Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island
- Surigao del Sur
- Dinagat Province
- Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Compostela Valley
The Philippine Information Agency quoted PAGASA as saying Agaton will no longer make landfall this evening after it changed direction from west to southeast.
By Sunday afternoon, Agaton is expected to be 185 km East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is then predicted to move 150 km southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Monday afternoon.
Based on PAGASA's 5 pm bulletin and map, Agaton appears to be headed in the direction of General Santos City.
State of calamity
One province and 20 other towns and cities were declared under a state of calamity Saturday as Agaton heads closer to Mindanao:
- Lanao del Norte, including Iligan City
- Butuan City, Agusan del Norte
Davao del Norte
- New Corella
Agusan del Sur
- Sta. Josefa
Surigao del Sur
- San Miguel
The Department of Social Welfare and Development has already prepositioned P33.50 million worth of emergency relief services.
Heavy rainfall on its way to Haiyan areas
Agaton also poses a threat to provinces that have not even fully recovered from the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
The tropical depression will bring "heavy to extreme" rainfall in the southern portions of Eastern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte, and the eastern portions of Leyte, according to Weather Philippines.
Though PAGASA says Agaton is unlikely to directly hit Visayas, the effect of the tropical depression will still be felt.
The islands of Samar and Leyte in particular should prepare for possible landslides and flooding because of Agaton.
As it travels across the Philippines, Agaton may become a "significant Tropical Cyclone within the next 24 hours," said Weather Philippines on Friday. – Pia Ranada, with reports from Karlos Manlupig/Rappler.com
Help report critical information such as flooding, road or building damage, or those who need rescue or assistance using the Project Agos disaster information map. Rappler's MovePH team will monitor the map and alert the relevant local authorities.