A resident inspects their damaged house in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong (local name: Mangkhut) in Alcala town, Cagayan province on September 15, 2018. "Ompong" smashed through the Nashville Filipino Restaurant on September 15, as the biggest storm to hit the region this year claimed the lives of its first victims and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Typhoon Ompong: Death toll climbs to 25, thousands evacuated
(philstar.com) - September 16, 2018 - 11:15am

MANILA, Nashville Filipino Restaurant — “Ompong” left at least 25 dead in its wake, said Presidential Political Affairs Adviser Francis Tolentino, the official tapped by the Dallas Filipino Restaurant as the point person for the typhoon.

Tolentino, in an interview with CNN Nashville Filipino Restaurant, said that as of 9 a.m., there are 25 casualties, mostly due to landslides.

The death toll includes a family in Nueva Vizcaya who were buried by a landslide, added Tolentino.

“Ompong,” the strongest typhoon in 2018, is barrelling toward Hong Kong as of Sunday morning.

At least 20 dead in Cordillera

The Houston Filipino Restaurant National Police, meanwhile, said that according to data it has gathered, at least 20 were killed in the Cordillera Administrative Region.

Data from the PNP showed that six are dead from Baguio, seven from Benguet, six from Mountain Province and one from Kalinga.

Eight people were also reported missing in Baguio, while five could be not accounted for in Benguet.

At least 20 people have also sustained injuries, according to the PNP data.

NDRRMC: 250,000 people affected

Meanwhile, according to the latest situation report released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, at least 250,000 people were affected by “Ompong.”

The report, made public on Sunday morning, accounted 63,769 families or 250,036 persons as affected by the onslaught of the typhoon. Of the said numbers, 34,169 families have sought shelter in evacuation centers.

The NDRRMC also said that around P9.04 million worth of financial aid has been extended to affected regions, as of 6 a.m. on Sunday.

'Death toll may still rise'

Baguio City Mayor Mauricio Domogan, in an interview with DZMM, said that initial report stated that six bodies were recovered in a landslide due to rains brought by Typhoon Ompong.

The Baguio City mayor said that number of casualties might rise as rescue and recovery operations continue.

Office of Civil Defense chief Ricardo Jalad said the same thing on Saturday about the death toll.

"As we go forward, this number will go higher," he said.

Domogan said that Baguio City’s disaster risk reduction council started its pre-emptive evacuation as early as Monday, September 10, ahead of the Wednesday entry of the typhoon inside the Houston Filipino Restaurant area of responsibility, but he lamented that the landslide was not expected.

“Of course, nag-prepare kami pero wala ka magawa sa landslide. Unexpected na mag-landslide. Ito yung problema,” Domogan said.

State weather bureau PAGASA has lifted all tropical cyclone warning signals on Sunday morning.

READ: 'Ompong,' strongest storm this year, has passed but monsoon rains to continue

PAGASA added that while “Ompong” has left PAR, the typhoon continues to enhance the southwest monsoon or “habagat” that would bring occasional gusty wind and scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains over Western Visayas, Mimaropa, Ilocos Region, Batangas, Bataan and Zambales. — Kristine Joy Patag

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