Metro Manila — The death toll in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Dante (international name: Choi-wan) rose to four on Thursday after one more fatality from South Cotabato was reported to the disaster management agency.
The latest fatality was a 55-year-old male from Norala town, according to the data released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC. His body was recovered on June 2, the NDRRMC added. He was previously tagged as a missing person.
The three other deaths were earlier recorded in South Cotabato, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Sur.
The victims were a 14-year-old girl from Norala, South Cotabato who died by drowning; a 71-year-old man from Malalag, Davao del Sur who was drifted by flash flood due to heavy rain; and a one-year-old boy from Maco, Davao de Oro who got suffocated due to landslide debris.
The number of injured remained at two. Meanwhile, search and rescue operations are ongoing for seven people who were reported missing during Dante’s onslaught — four fishermen from Pilar, Capiz who ventured out to sea despite the bad weather, two boys from Leyte who were both drifted by flash flood, and one male, around 40 to 45 years old, from Maco, Davao de Oro.
The NDRRMC said all the reports mentioned above are up for further validation.
Tens of thousands affected
As of 6 p.m. of June 2, at least 9,831 families or 45,456 persons in 89 villages in Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga were affected by Dante. Of the number, 3,090 families or 12,071 individuals sought temporary shelter in evacuation centers.
Trail of damage
Dante left more than ₱282 million in damage to infrastructure and agriculture after it swept through several areas in the country this week.
The Department of Public Works and Highways said based on its initial estimates, Dante caused ₱268.52 million worth of damage to national roads and flood-control structures in Central Visayas and Soccsksargen.
Some ₱14.6 million in losses to agriculture also were incurred in Soccsksargen and Caraga, the NDRRMC said, citing a preliminary report from the Department of Agriculture. Affected commodities include rice and corn, the agency added.
All wind signals lifted
The state weather bureau on Thursday lifted all wind signals as Dante blew out of the country’s landmass.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA previously hoisted Signal No. 1 and Signal No. 2 in several parts of the country.
However, Dante’s outer rainbands may still bring light to heavy rains in the western sections of northern Luzon and Central Luzon, PAGASA forecaster Chris Perez said in a briefing. He added it may rain on and off in Metro Manila on Thursday.
Perez also warned travel for small seacraft is risky in the northern and western seaboards of northern Luzon due to rough seas.
At 10 a.m., Dante was seen west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, maintaining maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness up to 90 kph.
The storm is seen to weaken into a low-pressure area by Saturday before exiting the Philippine area of responsibility or PAR, Perez said.
Dante is the fourth weather disturbance to hit the country this year. It entered PAR on May 30. Perez said it made eight landfalls before finally exiting the country’s landmass.
Rainy weather to persist?
The weather bureau is monitoring a low-pressure area inside the PAR, but it is not yet directly affecting the Philippines yet, Perez said. The LPA was last spotted east of Virac, Catanduanes.
One or three 3 tropical cyclones may enter the Philippine area of responsibility this month, PAGASA told CNN Philippines’ New Day on Thursday.