Authorities said Monday that thousands of people in the Philippines were still staying in emergency shelters as the death toll from the devastation of the Christmas floods rose to 51, with 19 still unaccounted for.
Images showed people cleaning their homes’ floors of thick muck in the southern Misamis Occidental region. Coconut trees were uprooted, and houses made of light materials were practically crushed at the seashore town of Cabol-anonan.
According to the National Tragedy Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Northern Mindanao region took the brunt of the disaster, with 25 fatalities.
Fishermen whose boats capsized were among the missing, while most of the fatalities were caused by drowning and landslides.
In most areas, the flooding has decreased, but more than 8,600 people still stay in shelters.
According to the emergency management service, the floods destroyed almost 4,500 homes, roads, and bridges, and some towns continue to experience problems with their water and power supplies.
Ivy Amor Amparo, a hospital employee from Ginoog city in the Misamis Oriental province, claimed that strong waves and uprooted trees severely damaged the family’s beachfront property.
Rescuers transported the mother of two and her family.
She claimed that her father used the 5,000 pesos ($90) in cash assistance from the local government to purchase the supplies needed to construct a temporary shelter for the family, who are currently crammed seven people into the small living room of the damaged house.
In a phone interview with The Associated Press, Amparo stated that “their stuff is still with the neighbor and some in our house.”
“They must acquire their clothing from the neighbor’s house when they need to take a bath at the community water pump.”
According to officials, the government delivered food and other necessities, sent out large machinery for clearing operations, and distributed iron sheets and kits for repairing habitations.
Teams from Manila, the country’s capital, were dispatched to help villages with a shortage of clean water put up water.
At least 22 municipalities and cities have issued a catastrophe declaration. The action will enable the release of emergency cash and speed up recovery operations.
According to the state weather agency, a shear line, or the warm and cold air meeting point, set off severe rains that led to flooding in several areas last week.
The death toll from Christmas Day floods and landslides in the southern Philippines has increased to 44. pic.twitter.com/OyAhazDc4a
— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) December 30, 2022