By Aaron Recuenco
The death toll in the onslaught of tropical storm ‘Vinta” rose to at least 240 as more reports began to reach police stations especially in flashflood-swept towns in Zamboanga Peninsula region.
The additional fatalities are from Lanao del Sur with additional nine dead from the earlier reported 18 deaths and in Zamboanga Peninsula region with a total fatality list of 78, almost all of them in Zamboanga del Norte with 74.
The fatality list in Northern Midnanao remains at 135 but the unaccounted missing persons are still at 72, according to Supt. Lemuel Gonda, police regional office spokesman.
Chief Insp. Helen Galvez, spokesperson of the Zamboanga Peninsula Region, said only 27 people are missing in the region, 26 of them are in Zambonga del Norte while the other one is from Zamboanga Sibugay.
More than 500 houses were also damaged in the entire region, according to Galvez, most of them due to the flashflood that swept several towns in Zamboanga del Norte.
On the other hand, several roads remain unpassable in some areas in the region due to damaged roads and bridges.
As to the evacuees, Galvez said a total of 8,548 remain housed in various evacuation centers.
Search and rescue operations are still being conducted in the affected areas for the missing local residents while several teams were deployed for relief missions.