Death toll in Philippines storm surges to 122



At least 122 people have died and 28 remain missing in floods and landslides caused by storm Usman as it passed through the Philippines, officials said on Thursday.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 37 new fatalities were from the worst-hit Bicol region, which now has an overall total of 105 deaths. 

The NDRRMC said that 308,451 people were displaced and 60 were injured. Out of the total number of people affected, only 30,960 were in shelters set up in the central and northern regions of the country which were worst hit, Efe news reported.

Local authorities declared a state of calamity in Camarines Sur, a province in Bicol region, which has a population of almost 2 million. The measure will speed up the disbursement of funds to the affected and repair damage to the infrastructure network.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was scheduled to visit the Bicol region on Friday, Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said, adding that the leader wanted to see for himself the destruction brought about by the heavy rains.

Moreover, Panelo said Duterte wanted to ensure that measures were being taken to alleviate the plight of those affected by the storm.

Eastern Visayas, along with Bicol, was another region hardest hit by Usman, a tropical depression that arrived on Saturday and was now outside the country.

The Philippines is hit by between 15 and 20 typhoons each year during the rainy or monsoon season, which usually begins in May or June and ends in November or December.-IANS