Typhoon Ompong kills at least 29 people — authorities

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FILE PHOTO

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — Typhoon Ompong claimed the lives of 29 people, President Rodrigo Duterte's typhoon point person Francis Tolentino confirmed on Sunday.

Tolentino told the press Sunday that 24 people are confirmed dead in Cordillera Region, particularly from Itogon, Benguet, Mountain Province, Kalinga and areas in Baguio City. He earlier told CNN Philippines one person died in Ilocos Sur, and a family of four were killed by a landslide in Nueva Vizcaya.

Tolentino added that no casualties have been reported so far from Quirino and Aurora in Isabela province, and Baggao in Cagayan province. Baggao was the point of impact of the typhoon's landfall, Tolentino said.

President Rodrigo Duterte also said he may visit Cordillera on Monday.

Cordillera police reported that most of the casualties were killed by landslides. Disaster officials reported Saturday a total of 42 landslides in the region.

Thirteen people remain missing in Cordillera, while 20 were injured when Typhoon Ompong ravaged Northern Luzon.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francis Duque said there are around 506 evacuation centers in Region 2, housing 14,688 families or 51,726 individuals.

Duque said they have offered services and medical aid worth P24 million for various affected regional offices. Medicines and antibiotics have been distributed to evacuation centers, as DOH expects a surge of leptospirosis cases due to the storm.

"We expect a surge in lepto cases kaya 'yung prophylactics napakahalaga nito kaya inihahanda namin ito sa mga affected evacuation centers," Duque said.

[Translation: We expect a surge in leptospirosis cases, so prophylactics are important. We have prepared them for the affected evacuation centers.]

Education chief Leonor Briones said 115 schools have suffered from damages amounting to P106 million. However, these numbers do not include damages reported from Batanes, Quirino and Aurora in Isabela, she said.

Meanwhile, 253 classrooms have been accommodating 1,330 families or 4,353 individuals from the Cagayan Valley region.

The Social Welfare Department said it prepared P2.2 million worth of rice and canned goods for evacuees. A total of 33,000 packs of food and non-food relief goods will be distributed to residents in Cagayan, Isabela, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade also reported damage to infrastructure amounting up to P40 million. The Tuguegarao airport in Cagayan province suffered the brunt of the typhoon's onslaught.

"If repairs to Tuguegarao airport take too long, we've discussed the possibility of using Cauayan or Lal-lo airport," Tugade said.

Typhoon Ompong exited the country on Saturday night, leaving a trail of destruction. It is heading to Southern China, where it is expected to make landfall near Hong Kong.