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‘Dante’ death toll climbs to 6

The death toll in the onslaught of Tropical Storm Dante has reached six, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported yesterday.

In its update, the agency said deaths from the storm include one from Western Visayas, one from Central Visayas, two from Davao Region, and two from Soccsksargen.

Meanwhile, the number of injured was placed at two, both reported in the Davao Region.

Three were reported missing – two in Eastern Visayas and one in Davao Region.

The NDRRMC added that search-and-rescue operations are still ongoing for three missing persons. It added that all casualty figures are subject for verification and validation.

Families affected by ‘Dante’ were placed at 12,260 or 55,226 persons residing in 177 barangays in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Davao Region, Soccsksargen, and Caraga.

Of this figure, 4,439 families or around 16,680 individuals are being sheltered in 140 evacuation centers.

‘Dante’ has further weakened into a tropical depression, and reentered the Philippine Area of Responsibility yesterday afternoon, a state forecaster said.

It was last tracked 210 km. west-northwest of Basco, Batanes or 185 km west of Itbayat, Batanes. It packs maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center, and gustiness of up to 70 kph.

“Due to Dante’s location, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 has been hoisted over Batanes,” said Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration weather specialist Raymond Ordinario.

Batanes will experience strong winds, and a gale warning is in effect over the northern seaboard of northern Luzon. Ordinario said those venturing out to the sea must take precautionary measures as sea travel is risky for small seacrafts over these waters.

‘Dante’ is expected to exit PAR this afternoon and likely to downgrade into a low pressure area, Ordinario said.*PNA

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