Glenda death toll still rising as Henry nears

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Children play in a sea of trash washed in by Typhoon Glenda. The number of people killed by the typhoon rose to 86. Photo by Ruy Martinez

Children play in a sea of trash washed in by Typhoon Glenda. The number of people killed by the typhoon rose to 86. Photo by Ruy Martinez

The number of deaths from Typhoon Glenda (international codename: Rammasun) continued to climb on Saturday, as reports from remote areas it devastated came in.

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The National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) put the number of fatalities at 86, with six other persons missing and 232 injured. The death toll was 54 on Friday.

The NDRRMC said Southern Tagalog had the biggest number of deaths, with 54.
Nineteen of them were in Quezon, 11 each in Laguna and Batangas and 10 in Cavite and three in Rizal.

The Bicol region came in next with six fatalities. Three were in Camarines Sur and three in Sorsogon.

Five people were killed in the Mimaropa region; three in the province of Marinduque and one each in the provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.

Five were killed in Eastern Visayas, four in Central Luzon and one in Western Visayas.

The NDRRMC said damage to agriculture was P4.810 billion, mainly from destroyed rice and corn and high value crops and livestock in Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol, Metro Manila and Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR).

Damage to infrastructure reached P1. 04 billion.

The NDRRMC said about 330,433 families or 1.6 million people fled their homes and sheltered in around 1,200 evacuation centers.

Glenda left 111,372 houses damaged or destroyed, the agency said.

At least 17 roads and three bridges remained closed due to flood damage.

A state of calamity was declared in the town of Obando, Bulacan, Naga City and the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Albay, Camarines Sur and Samar.

Five days after Glenda barreled through Luzon, another storm threatened the country. Storm Henry (international codename: Matmo) was not forecast to hit Luzon, but it would still bring heavy rains to the area over the weekend, along with the threat of flash floods or landslides.

“Henry has entered the Philippine area of responsibility. We should get ready now before the heavy rains fall,” Presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a warning broadcast over government radio.

Power, which was cut at the height of Glenda, was restored to most of Metro Manila overnight Friday, according to Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Meralco warned that power cuts of up to five hours a day would continue as it rations limited supply, with a number of generating plants still cut off from the grid.

The government said it would take a few more days to repair thousands of power pylons and downed transmission lines across the industrial provinces south of Manila and Bicol.

Henry was about 600 kilometers off Samar on Saturday morning with maximum gusts of up to 90 kilometers an hour, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

It was forecast to head northeast, skirting Luzon before hitting the Batan island group between Luzon and Taiwan early Tuesday.

The Philippines endures about 20 cyclones each year.

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