(UPDATE) THE National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Saturday clarified on Saturday that 45 and not 72 people were reported to have died from the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm “Paeng” ( (international name: Nalgae).
In a virtual press briefing, acting Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Jose Faustino Jr., concurrent NDRRMC chairman, said the correction in the number of fatalities was made official following the submission of reports from concerned local government officials of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“We have now reduced to 45 the number of fatalities, 40 of them were from BARMM specifically in Maguindanao and the remaining five were from Region 12, which had three, and two in Region 6,” Faustino said.
Asked why the NDRMMC came out with the report earlier in the day, Faustino said the local officials apparently had over-counted as they also relied on reports from village authorities.
The NDRRMC had said that it was still validating reports of 14 missing persons – 11 from Maguindanao and three in Region 12 (SOCCSKSARGEN) — in Mindanao.
Get the latest news
delivered to your inbox
Sign up for The Juan Kabayan’ daily newsletters
Asked also on why, especially Maguindanao, there were a lot of victims when they were not in the direct path of “Paeng”, the acting DND chief said that they became “catch basins” to the surrounding flooded areas.
Also, the NDRRMC said that a total of 49,767 families or 184,161 persons were affected.
Of the number, 2,615 families or 9,737 persons were at 113 evacuation centers while 625 families or 2,400 persons were outside or were with relatives not much affected by the storm.
Region 12 has the most affected number of evacuees from 98 villages at 22, 425 families or 89, 649 individuals followed by Region 6 (Western Visayas) with 16, 991 families or 50, 652 individuals from 74 villages and Region 5 (Bicol) with 9, 668 families or 40, 887 individuals from 134 villages, the NDRMMC said.
It said that of the 14 missing persons, 11 were from Maguindanao while the other three persons were from Region 12.
At the same press briefing, National Irrigation Administrator Benny Antiporda said they had conducted so-called pre-emptive spilling operations on major dams especially in areas largely affected by the severe tropical storm to avoid a worst situation.
“We already released water from Magat Dam in Isabela amid the expected impact of Paeng in the affected areas with a volume of 200 cubic meter per second,” Antiporda said.
Antiporda said that pre-emptive spilling operations “are now a NIA protocol’.