Bagyong Sendong death toll now 334; Red Cross claims 652

The death toll from tropical storm Sendong (Washi) rose to 334 Sunday night, according to latest government report, even as the Philippine Red Cross claimed as many as 652 have been killed. In its 8 p.m. update, the government’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said seven were injured and 281 still missing. But the Philippine Red Cross said its data showed the death toll at 652, with the latest data from Cagayan de Oro City. The Red Cross also appealed for help to provide Christmas packs to families. In its latest report, the NDRRMC said Sendong, which wrecked havoc from Friday night to early Saturday, has so far affected 22,989 families or 125,250 people in 150 villages in 23 towns and eight cities in 13 provinces. Of these, 8,029 families or 44,481 families are being served inside 45 evacuation centers. At least 1,334 houses were destroyed while 3,070 were damaged. As of 5 p.m. Sunday, at least 377 passengers, three vessels and one motor banca were still stranded in southern Luzon and Western Visayas. Some nine road sections and bridges were damaged, including four in Cordillera and Caraga; and five bridges in Central Visayas and Region 10. For its part, the Health Department’s Health Emergency Management Staff was placed on blue alert. — KBK, GMA News
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