The number of affected families has risen to almost 380,000, of whom more than 10,700 still are temporarily sheltered in 58 evacuation centers.

People walk on power lines above a flooded street in the Philippines, 14 January 2011. boncherry.com

By Vittorio Hernandez
January 24, 2011

(AHN) The death toll in the Philippines from floods and landslides continues to go up. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the fatality count reached 71 people as of Monday morning.

The number grew again after the council confirmed the death of three fishermen in Quezon province earlier reported as missing. The bodies of the three were discovered Saturday morning.

The number of affected families has risen to almost 380,000, of whom more than 10,700 still are temporarily sheltered in 58 evacuation centers.

The rains and landslides destroyed 745 homes and partially damaged 4,550 houses. Included in those damaged were six houses totally buried by a landslide on Thursday afternoon in Oas, Albay province. The landslide occurred because of continuous rains that saturated the soil of the mountain slope.

Because of the disaster, Albay Governor Joey Salceda recommended the relocation of more than 1,100 residents of Barangay Calaguimit in Oas, whose entire settlement could be wiped out if another major landslide happens.

It is the third landslide to occur in the western region of Albay. Most of the landslides happened in the eastern part of the province. Fortunately, residents of the six buried houses were not hurt and are now temporarily staying at the village hall.

Salceda ordered provincial officials to look for a place to relocate the 219 families from Barangay Calaguimit. He estimated the cost of buying a permanent relocation site and building 219 core shelter homes at $493,800 (PHP 21.9 million).

The NDRRMC placed the cost of damaged properties from the floods which hit several Philippine regions since December to $40.27 million (PHP 1.786 billion), including damage to crops and infrastructure.

Philippine flood, landslide death toll rises to 71

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