The day after the passage of powerful typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines, the authorities have confirmed the death of at least 59 people and are looking for a dozen missing, while rescue teams are able to access remote areas hit by what is already considered the biggest typhoon of the season.
According to the latest data collected by the Philippine National Police, 59 people have been confirmed dead, 16 missing and 47 injured by the typhoon, named Ompong in the Philippines.
Most of these deaths were caused by landslides in the mountainous areas that received the torrential rains and strong winds that dragged Mangkhut in its path yesterday for about ten hours through the north of the island of Luzon, in the extreme north of the country. country.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte visited the affected provinces of Cagayan and Ilocos on Sunday, where he conducted an "aerial inspection" to assess the damage and met with regional and national authorities to discuss the disaster response plan.
"I share my condolences with those who have lost their loved ones," said the Philippine president in a televised live appearance in which he assured that the government is doing everything in its power to "return to normal as soon as possible" .
Duterte is expected to visit the Cordillera region on Monday, where the death toll is currently the highest, with 49 dead and 13 missing.
In the Cagayan region, seven deaths have been confirmed, in addition to one in Central Luzon, one in Ilocos and another in Manila.
In Cordillera a family of six members died when their house in the city of Baguio was buried by a landslide; and in Nueva Vizcaya (Cagayan), a 36-year-old man and three of his children – one of two years old and another of eight months – died in the same circumstances while the rest of his family was in an evacuation center.
In the small mining town of Itogon, in the Cordillera region, an avalanche of land devastated four barracks where the miners lived, causing at least 33 deaths, although authorities fear that the number of victims may reach a hundred while the search for the disappeared continues.
The presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, appointed by Duterte to supervise the response to the disaster, stressed that the search and rescue tasks are expected to end on Sunday in order to start rehabilitation work tomorrow, with the aim of restoring electricity and communications.
More than 130,000 people remained on government-cleared evacuation centers on Sunday and some 15,000 were refugees in safer family homes, according to the latest data from the National Center for Disaster Reduction.
Despite the difficulties of access, international aid has already begun to flow, specifically 20,000 bags of rice from the World Food Program; in addition to $ 570,000 donated by Australia in basic necessities for some 25,000 people that will be distributed by the Red Cross.
The passage of the storm, the worst hit by the Philippines since the Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, has caused more than 250,000 victims directly, according to that official agency, although more than 5 million Filipinos live in the areas that suffered the onslaught. of the Mangkhut.
Before the typhoon, the Philippine government designated more than $ 30 million for the emergency response.
After touching land in the town of Baggao, on the northeastern coast of the country, on Saturday Mangkhut dragged winds of up to 305 kilometers per hour, torrential rains and caused waves of up to six meters.
On its westward trajectory, the typhoon weakened slightly and left the area of responsibility of the Philippines on Saturday, in the direction of Hong Kong with winds between 80 and 110 miles per hour.