By MARTIN A. SADONGDONG
Typhoon “Ompong” (international name “Mangkhut”) has killed 59 persons as of last night, according to the Philippine National Police.
As of 6 p.m., 49 deaths have been recorded in the Cordillera Administrative Region, according to a report from PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana Jr.
Most of the fatalities from CAR were in Benguet with 33. Baguio City has nine dead, Mountain Province has six, and Kalinga has one.
Seven persons were killed in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) and one each in Ilocos (Region 1), Central Luzon (Region 3), and National Capital Region.
Forty-seven persons were reported injured while 16 others remain missing as local authorities started to realize the massive destruction left by Ompong in its aftermath.
Thirty-two persons were injured in CAR, seven in Region 2, three in Region 1, two each in the NCR and Western Visayas, and one in Region 3.
Thirteen were missing in CAR and once each in Central Luzon, NCR, and Western Visayas.
Ompong forced the evacuation of 25,953 families or 182,977 persons.
More than 1,900 houses were destroyed, 274 areas were flooded, and 122 roads were deemed impassable.
Durana said 7,092 search and rescue and law and order personnel have been deployed in the affected regions.
The Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 3,112 families or 12,113 persons were displaced in Abra, Benguet, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Baguio City.
It said 5,874 families or 22,233 persons in Abra, Benguet, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, and Baguio City were directly affected by the typhoon.
Eighty-one landslide and rock slide, 13 flooding, and two sinking area incidents, three road slips and road washouts, and seven fallen trees and vegetation were reported in CAR.
More than 100 road sections and one bridge in the CAR are closed to traffic due to road slip, road collapse, landslide, mudslides, debris flow, rockslide, and falling trees.
Ninety-nine percent of Benguet and Baguio City experienced power interruption while 100 percent of Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga, and
Mountain Province experienced power interruption at the height of Ompong from Friday to Saturday.
Power in some areas in Baguio City and Benguet has been restored as of yesterday.
Fifty-eight houses were partially and totally damaged in Benguet, Baguio City, and Kalinga.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said the country can expect improving weather condition as Ompong has left the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
Ompong, which left the PAR Saturday night and is now headed to southern China and Hong Kong, was last spotted 480 kilometers west-northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, packing winds of 145 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 180 kph and moving west-northwest at 25 kph.
The 15th tropical cyclone to enter the PAR this will be 1,215 kilometers west of Basco, Batanes today. PAGASA has lowered all tropical cyclone warning signals. (with reports from Francis T. Wakefield and Chito A. Chavez)