Dante leaves 4 dead, infra, agri damage as it blows out of PH landmass

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — The death toll in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Dante (international name: Choi-wan) rose to four on Thursday after one more fatality from South Cotabato was reported to the disaster management agency.

The latest fatality was a 55-year-old male from Norala town, according to the data released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council or NDRRMC. His body was recovered on June 2, the NDRRMC added. He was previously tagged as a missing person.

The three other deaths were earlier recorded in South Cotabato, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Sur.

The victims were a 14-year-old girl from Norala, South Cotabato who died by drowning; a 71-year-old man from Malalag, Davao del Sur who was drifted by flash flood due to heavy rain; and a one-year-old boy from Maco, Davao de Oro who got suffocated due to landslide debris.

The number of injured remained at two. Meanwhile, search and rescue operations are ongoing for seven people who were reported missing during Dante’s onslaught — four fishermen from Pilar, Capiz who ventured out to sea despite the bad weather, two boys from Leyte who were both drifted by flash flood, and one male, around 40 to 45 years old, from Maco, Davao de Oro.

The NDRRMC said all the reports mentioned above are up for further validation.

Tens of thousands affected

As of 6 p.m. of June 2, at least 9,831 families or 45,456 persons in 89 villages in Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga were affected by Dante. Of the number, 3,090 families or 12,071 individuals sought temporary shelter in evacuation centers.

Trail of damage

Dante left more than ₱282 million in damage to infrastructure and agriculture after it swept through several areas in the country this week.

The Department of Public Works and Highways said based on its initial estimates, Dante caused ₱268.52 million worth of damage to national roads and flood-control structures in Central Visayas and Soccsksargen.

Some ₱14.6 million in losses to agriculture also were incurred in Soccsksargen and Caraga, the NDRRMC said, citing a preliminary report from the Department of Agriculture. Affected commodities include rice and corn, the agency added.

All wind signals lifted

The state weather bureau on Thursday lifted all wind signals as Dante blew out of the country’s landmass.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA previously hoisted Signal No. 1 and Signal No. 2 in several parts of the country.

In its 11 p.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said Dante is now moving northwestward over the West Philippine Sea.

At 10 p.m., Dante was seen 260 km west northwest of Sinait, Ilocos Sur or 250 km west northwest of Laoag City. It maintained maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

PAGASA said Dante will likely keep its strength until its landfall or close approach over the southern portion of Taiwan Friday evening.

Dante is the fourth weather disturbance to hit the country this year. It entered PAR on May 30. Perez said it made eight landfalls before finally exiting the country’s landmass.

Rainy weather to persist?

Meanwhile, the weather bureau is monitoring a low pressure area inside the PAR, but it is not yet directly affecting the country yet, PAGASA forecaster Chris Perez said. The LPA was last spotted east of Virac, Catanduanes.

One or three tropical cyclones may enter the Philippine area of responsibility this month, PAGASA told CNN Philippines’ New Day on Thursday.