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Agaton with 6 confirmed casualties, death toll still expected to rise

Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine Red Cross teams conduct rescue operations in Salukon, Agkilo, at Tabuk Norte sa Panit-an, Capiz as a result of heavy rains and flooding brought about by storm Agaton (Photo from PCG Station Roxas)

Tropical storm Agaton (international name: Megi) has left at least 6 casualties after it battered parts of the country since the weekend

However, this is expected to increase as authorities continue to confirm the reported mass casualties in Leyte, which were hit by massive landslides, which were caused by torrential rains brought about by tropical storm Agaton. 

During the public address of President Rodrigo R. Duterte last Mon., the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo B. Jalad reported they were able to confirm the death of 3 people from barangay Cateel and Monkayo in Davao Oriental.

He also reported 1 missing from Monkayo in Davao de Oro and 2 injured from Kitaotao, Bukidnon. 

NDRRMC is currently verifying reports of the 14 people, who died in Baybay, Leyte due to landslides.  

Jalad explained the landslides happened due to persistent rains in the previous days, which saturated the land with water.

Interior and Secretary Eduardo M Año reported that search and rescue as well as retrieval operations of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are ongoing in the landslide-hit areas. 

He noted soft ground caused by the rains has slowed down the said operations. 

NDDRMC has at least 136,390 people from 17 provinces. Of which, 15.326 people were displaced. 

Agaton intensified into a tropical storm last Sat. before it made landfall in Calicoan Island, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. 

As of Monday, its status was downgraded to a tropical depression.

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